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Rebecca Belmore
From April 17th 1999 to May 22nd 1999
niibiwe / behzig, plusieurs / seule, ------- / -------

Toronto artist, Rebecca Belmore will present an installation work at Optica, her first solo exhibition in Montreal. Her installation work, diverse in media and form, persists in exploring the complex relationships between us and nature ; the human body and site. In her sporadic use of performance art she is drawn to the agility of this medium and views it as a tool to be used and set aside. Her casual use of performance art allows her to respond to issues of personal interest and explore psychological environments.

In the summer of 1990, La Centrale/ Powerhouse Gallery invited Rebecca Belmore to speak about her work. She chose to invite Charlotte Childforever to accompany her. Ms. Childforever, talked about Belmore’s work in the Anishinabe (Ojibway) language. The artist, a non-Anishinabe speaker, read an English translation of the presentation creating a performance on language.


In 1996 she participated in "METISSAGES", a group show organized by the Centre Est-Nord-Est and presented at Optica. Once again, Rebecca Belmore’s piece titled Imposition, a collaboration with Florene Belmore, became a site of resistance dealing with the gap between cultures. Texts in Anishinabe were superimposed on video images ; a close-up shot of a strong river current and another of cloud movement across a sky. The texts that accompanied the evocative images remained voiceless for those visitors unfamiliar with the Anishinabe language. Two monitors were embedded in opposing walls, painted the colour of the occupying forces ; one blue, the other red. Pine needles fixed on a square trellis acknowledged the land and celebrated the meticulous and quiet work of weaving. « Dealing in imagined geographies of community, identity and nature, the work of Rebecca Belmore interrogates usual configurations of location, unmasking imagined relationships to nature and filling the abstractions of identity politics with heartfelt renderings of everyday life.» (Marilyn Burgess, «The imagined Geographies of Rebecca Belmore», Parachute, no 93, March 1999, pp.12-20). nibiwe / behzig, plusieurs / seule is an installation, is a continuation of this approach.

April 17th, 1999
Performative action by the artist during the opening

Rebecca Belmore was born in 1960 in Upsala, Ontario. She studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. She has done performance and installation work since 1988. She has had several exhibitions across Canada, including Wana-na-wang-ong at the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, 1993), "Ayumee-aawach Oomama-Mowan: Speaking to Their Mother" at YYZ (Toronto, 1993), "Tourist Act #1" at The Institute of American Indian Art Museum (Santa Fe, 1995). Belmore also took part in "Interrogative Identity" (Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University , New York City, 1991), the Fourth Havana Biennial (Cuba, 1991), "Land, Spirit, Power: First Nations" at the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, 1992), "Liaisons" (The Power Plant, Toronto, 1996), "Insite" (Santa Fe, 1997), and the Sydney Biennial (1998). She lives in Toronto.

Bibliographie
- Miller, Marcus, «ID please : mediations on a vision quest», Hour, 29 avril – 5 mai 1999, p.24.
- Miller, Marcus, «Rebecca Belmore», Mix, vol. 25, no 1, été 1999, p.8.
- Sioui Durand, Guy, «Le printemps en été ou…de quelques expositions et résidences», Inter, vol. 74, pp.46–49.