March 5, 1819

2008 / The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, Newfoundland and Labrador / Video installation

Belmore’s work often starts in the performative and in March 5, 1819 she shows us the trauma inherent in the pursuit and murder of a man and the capture of his wife. The work isn’t about memory or history but about disruption and disappearance. For Belmore, there is no one left to remember. The writing of history hasn’t evoked their reality but rather stands in for them as an absence. The history doesn’t tell us of two people in love, just starting a family, in a harsh physical environment made harsher by the coming of the colonialists.

Glenn Alteen, Rebecca Belmore – March 5, 1819, 2008

Video credit: Noam Gonick