Navigation


Note From The Editor

Articles

Poems

Works

Call For Papers⁄Art


Rebecca Belmore top image

X

Rebecca Belmore

Rebecca Belmore’s X Gallery Performed on June 17, 2010
Wall of the Price Chopper, 181 Brock Street, Peterborough, Ontario
Performance for Mapping Resistances exhibition. Curated by Wanda Nanibush as part of the Ode’Min Giizis Festival June 17-18, 2010, Peterborough, On

Materials:
A black truck, an assistant and a trumpet player, bags of milk, four buckets, water
four cushions in the colours used in Robert Houle’s “Mohawk Summer,” four stones, a brick wall.

Videographers: Nick Ferrio, Jessica Rowland
Edited by: Nick Ferrio

Back to top

I remember the long hot summer of 1990. Twenty years since Oka. I easily recall images of the Canadian military surrounding the Mohawk nation. This moment in our history affirmed what I have known since childhood. I was born in a colonial space.

Back to top

I am aware that our land and Aboriginal rights are constantly being eroded. We must continually fight to hang onto what we have left. Using my intellectual and physical abilities I create images that mark our experience, mapping our space in time. This is how I view my role as an artist amongst our people. I imagine this is the way it has always been.

Back to top

X, responds to Oka in the immediacy of the present space of Price Choppers in Peterborough. They are having a ceremony across the street to rebury a two thousand year old Aboriginal man, found when they created the parking lot. What strikes me about the reburial site is that it is such a generic setting - between a parking lot and a sidewalk on a very busy street - no trees, no meandering sidewalk, no benches, absolutely outside of public spaces created out of civic pride.

Back to top

The repetitive actions of marking, erasing, marking and erasing large X’s – two Aboriginal women, contemporary individuals, with specific identities are going about our work in current time and space. And yes, across the street, a ritual of return, a reburial of what was disturbed and removed is taking place.

Back to top

The ancient ones obviously used this site in a very different way. Us –with our vehicles, parking lots, grocery stores, telephones and cars. The sacred fire for the reburial, the spiritual return quietly takes place while contemporary life moves on.

Back to top

I guess on some level, I am seeing us as them and them as us. How long before Price Chopper and the parking lot become something else?

Back to top

Artist Bio

Rebecca Belmore was born in Upsala, Ontario and currently living in Winnipeg. An internationally recognized performance and installation artist, Belmore’s multi-disciplinary work has addressed history, place and identity. She was Canada’s official representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions both nationally and internationally including three solo touring exhibitions, Rising to the Occasion, Vancouver Art Gallery, The Named and the Unnamed, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2002); and 33 Pieces, Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto at Mississauga (2001). Her group exhibitions include Houseguests, Art Gallery of Ontario (2001); Longing and Belonging: From the Faraway Nearby, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico (1995); Land, Spirit, Power, National Gallery of Canada (1992); and Creation or Death: We Will Win, at the Havana Biennial, Havana Cuba (1991).

Back to top