She asks us to examine our relationship to history by inverting the official narrative.
She uses natural materials, repetitive gestures and her own and others' labour.
She references the struggling or missing body.
It is a provocation,
|Rising To The Occasion|
|untitled 3 2004 inkjet print on watercolour paper|
They are minimal.
The fabric appears to bind the body, restricting movement,
yet also cocoons it.
|untitled 2 2004 inkjet on watercolour paper|
Life and death.
|untled 1 2004 inkjet on watercolour paper|
|black cloud 2001 wood and steel|
|The Great Water, overturned canoe and fabric|
She overturns the signs of both Aboriginal and European culture, subverting their conventions while playing on our assumptions of both. Above, an over turned canoe. The disappeared body.
The mortality of both our cultures.
|wana-na-wang-ong, lichen, moss, roots 1993|
Sioux Lookout, Northern Ontario.
Wana-na-wang-ong means curve in the land or gentle dip..
|detail of wana-na-wang-ong side a (lichen)|
|detail of wana-na-wang-ong side a (spruce roots)|
|untitled (a blanket for Sarah) 1994 pine needles through metal screening|
|deatil of untitled (a blanket for Sarah)|
Interiority as Allegory
In it, he states that Rebecca Belmore's distinctive body of work is between 2 cultures, between order and chaors and between corporeal and visceral. Her work is ambialent about the certainity of modernism, yet dismissive of the contradictions of post modernism, her performances and installations are impossible to categorize. Houle says that the complex emotional resonance and diversity in her work are powerful allegories of her on inner self yet are also about all of us.
Belmore's main focus are the performances that she continues to do both in Canada and internationally. These address both the latest current event hile also scooping in history, language, land, pain and hope. Her performances explore the right to be ourselves.
|Temple 1996 ater, plastic, fountain, telescope, dimensions variable|
|Temple, 1996 water plastic telescope wood|
How removed are we from acknowledging that we are part of nature? How great is that distance? Rebecca Belmore
|white thread, 2003 inkjet on watercolour paper|
A specific place in nature
Response to socio-political condition of the moment.
Also, Rebecca remains unequivacally anishinabe. She uses her body as a metaphor for the fragililty of the human experience. By bringing the eoutdoors inside the gallery walls, nature is not separateed from culture, and culture is not reduced to ethnicity.
All images and the ground of ideas for this text are taken from the Vancouver Art Gallery catalog entitled Rebecca Belmore. Curators of that exhibition Diana Augaitis and Kathleen Ritter. Thank you to them and to the artist.