1996 / The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, ON / Installation

A gigantic inclined plane stands covered in plastic milk bags filled with water taken from Lake Ontario. At its foot, a functioning drinking fountain promises fresh water, while at its head a longish staircase leads to a small platform fitted with a very small telescope. Looking through it, the viewer can see the great rolling waves of the lake, up close.

Temple brings us face to face with the utter simplicity of water, its being-there-ness and its intrinsic necessity. To do so it uses the closest available water source, so densely polluted it must be treated at a facility down the road from the gallery before it can be consumed.

Marilyn Burgess, The Imagined Geographies of Rebecca Belmore, Parachute 93, Jan/Feb/Mar 1999

Photo credit: Cheryl O’Brien / The Power Plant