Curatorial Statement

In June 2006, I had the opportunity to join Rebecca Belmore on an excursion from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Sioux Lookout, Ontario. During this trip we talked over many things: Aboriginal and reserve life, art, and the landscape through which we were traveling. This was my first experience of the Canadian Shield; for Rebecca the trip was a chance to recollect people and places where she used to live. An impressive part of the trip was the sight of all the scattered systems of lakes and bogs that make up this incredible landscape. They seemed to follow us all the way back to her mother's home community.

This experience put me in touch with the inspiration for some of Rebecca's work, and gave me time to think about my assumptions about her ideas. This retrospective website focuses on exhibitions and performances that she has produced, and documents her diverse practice.

Daina Warren 2007

Quotes

As a First Nations or Aboriginal person, Belmore's homeland is now the modern nation of Canada; yet, there is reluctance by the art world to recognize this condition as a continuous form of cultural and political exile. The inclusion of the First Nations political base is not meant to marginalize Belmore's work, but add depth to it. People think of Belmore as both Canadian and Anishinabe—l think of her as an Anishinabe living in the continuously colonial space of the Americas.

Jolene Rickard
"Rebecca Belmore: Performing Power"
Rebecca Belmore: Fountain
Venice Biennale Catalogue 2005

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Belmore's performances bring to the fore the complexity of associations and issues with remarkable incisiveness, penetrating the surface of complacency like a sharp knife slipped under soft flesh. Her considered materiality, and attention to the meaning of place make the hidden real.

Jessica Bradley
"Art and the Object of Performance"
Caught in the Act: An anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women
Edited by Tanya Mars and Johanna Householder

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Rebecca Belmore's work seeks to address the longstanding treatment of native as other within the philosophical stance of the western world. ...[Her] performance pieces address the untenable conditions of historical, scientific and political intervention. Television, archeology, religion, art, politics and stereotypes are all held up for scrutiny.

Alfred Young Man
"The Savage Civilian and the work of Rebecca Belmore"
Between Views catalogue 1991

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The work of Rebecca Belmore interrogates usual configurations of location, unmasking imagined relationships to nature and filling the abstractions of identity politics with heartfelt renderings of everyday life. She makes us think about how land is represented, exploring its mythic function in the circulation of colonial conceits.

Marilyn Burgess
"The Imagined Geographies of Rebecca Belmore"
Parachute 93 1999

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Fountain is quintessential Belmore. Her reputation, across Canada and internationally, has been earned with performances and installations that reveal sensitivities to history and place, memory and absence.

Lee-Ann Martin
"The Waters of Venice"
Canadian Art Magazine 2005

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