Rebecca Belmore: March 5, 1819

Featuring texts by Jennifer Adese, Heather Anderson, Kristina Huneault and Ingeborg Marshall, and a conversation between Glenn Alteen and Rebecca Belmore. Foreword by Sandra Dyck.

Rebecca Belmore has created some of Canada’s most haunting artworks on the subject of colonial violence and its living legacy. This publication documents a powerful two-channel video installation that unfolds on parallel walls, with two hand-held cameras following the struggles of a man and woman being chased through a snowy forest. March 5, 1819 features the frantic final moments before Demasduit, a young Beothuk woman (later renamed Mary March) is captured by colonists at Red Indian Lake in Newfoundland. Her husband Nonosabasut dies trying to save her. Belmore’s re-enactment of this historical moment in contemporary dress places the viewer into the middle of the event-as both witness and perpetrator—effectively bringing the historical struggle of Indigenous peoples in Canada viscerally into the present.

Co-published by Carleton University Art Gallery, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, McMaster Museum of Art, 2018