Image of black wool banner with almost invisible Cyrillic letters sewn on in the same material.
The Cedar, The Birch, Our Hands At Full-Mast, Behind The After (2017), wool, wood, thread, canvas, sand, 96" x 360" x 60" / 244 cm x 914 cm x 152 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Solo Exhibition | The Cedar, The Birch, Our Hands At Full-Mast, Behind The After by Kandis Friesen

June 10 – August 22, 2020

*Reduced hours / by appointment

May There Always Be Sunshine (The Wind And The Void) | Artist Talk by Kandis Friesen | TBA

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

Plug In ICA is excited to announce The Cedar, The Birch, Our Hands At Full-Mast, Behind The After, a solo exhibition by Kandis Friesen.

The Cedar, The Birch, Our Hands At Full-Mast, Behind The After is a large-scale woollen banner, written in the oral Russian Mennonite language and transliterated into the Cyrillic alphabet. Silent in its near-illegibility, the banner’s monochrome text is a poetic proclamation, citing radical collectivist visions from across five centuries – early Anabaptist declarations from the Münster rebellion of 1534, Ukrainian anarchist tracts from the Russian civil war, and Odessan artist Sergei Anufriev’s 1989 painting HOW’S THE BREATHING, among others. Weaving these sources with vocabulary specific to the Russian Mennonite language, the new text is a poem, a prayer, and a call to arms, a portable memorial written in the grammatic tense of all banners: the present-future tense. Its immediate legibility lies only with a small and scattered audience: those Russian Mennonites that lived in the Soviet Union, that became refugees, exiles, internally displaced, incarcerated, diasporic, and disappeared – a banner for a gathering impossible to gather.

Kandis Friesen’s work is anchored in diasporic language, dispersed translations, and disintegrating archival forms. Often circulating as video, sculpture, installation, and writing, her compositions build from architectural, material, and spectral inhabitations of exile, amplifying minute and myriad histories at once. Her work has been exhibited and screened at LUX (London, UK), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, US), Chicago Architecture Biennial (Chicago, US), TRUCK Contemporary (Calgary, CA), Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, CA), FIFA (Montreal, CA), WNDX (Winnipeg, CA), MIX NYC (NYC, US), Athens Digital Arts Festival (Athens, GR), and Jihlava International Film Festival (Jihlava, CZ), among others. She has received grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, CALQ, the Images Festival Steamwhistle Award (with Nahed Mansour, 2012), Best Canadian Work at WNDX (2018), and the Brucebo Art Foundation Travel Research Grant (2019). Her video works are distributed by Groupe Intervention Vidéo in Montreal.

All public programming is free and open to the public.

Associated Programming

Solo Exhibition | The Modernist by Catherine Opie | June 10 – August 22, 2020

May There Always Be Sunshine (The Wind And The Void) | Artist Talk by Kandis Friesen | TBA

Artist Talk by Catherine Opie | TBA


We are on Treaty 1 Territory. Plug In ICA is located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For more information on public programming and exhibitions contact Nasrin Himada:

For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043