The 19th-century massacre at Wounded Knee and the 2002 discovery of the remains of dozens of missing women, many of them Aboriginal, at a pig farm outside Vancouver were the subjects of Belmore’s installation blood on the snow, created in 2002 for the exhibition The Named and the Unnamed, organized by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. The work, which toured Canada with the show, presents a pristine white blanket of snow defiled by the blood of the dispossessed. Blood running down a white chair at the centre of the blanket seems to stand for pain and violence in the midst of cold, white indifference. For Belmore, it is an extension of ongoing violence against Aboriginal people.
Lee-Ann Martin, The Waters of Venice: Rebecca Belmore at the 51st Biennale, Canadian Art, June 2005
Photo credit: Art Gallery of Ontario