Rebecca Belmore

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Rebecca Belmore
2009, Glow, Rebecca Belmore, Photo Claus Langer.jpg
Artwork by Rebecca Belmore during Glow
Born 1962
Upsala, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Anishinaabe-Canadian
Known for installation, Performance art

Rebecca Belmore (born 1960) is an Anishinaabe-Canadian artist based in Winnipeg. Her work addresses history, voice and voicelessness, place, and identity through the media of sculpture, installation, video and performance. To address the politics of representation, Belmore's art strives to invert or subvert official narratives, while demonstrating a preference for the use of repetitive gesture and natural materials.[1]


Belmore was born on March 22, 1960 in Upsala, Ontario, Canada and currently resides in Winnipeg, MB. Author Jessica Bradley describes Belmore's adolescence as difficult, due to "the custom ingrained through the [Canadian] government imposed assimilation, she was sent to attend high school in Thunder Bay and billeted with a non-Native family." Bradley adds that as a result of her experience as an adolescent, notions of displacement and cultural loss are "reformed into acts or objects of reparation and protest [within her various works]." [2]


"Although at its most effective, Belmore's aesthetic is taut, reductive, and unsentimental", writes Charlotte Townsend-Gault, "it becomes evident that for her there is no sharp divide between aesthetics and ethics." Belmore's major projects have resulted from her response to specific sites and circumstances offered to her. This is the way she prefers to work.[3]


Belmore has produced installations and performances internationally since 1987, including Creation or Death, We Will Win, at the Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba (1991) and Vigil, at the Aboriginal Arts Festival, Vancouver, B.C. (2003). She represented Canada at the Sydney Biennale, in Australia in 1998, in a group exhibition format. In 2004, Belmore received the VIVA Award from the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation and completed a residency with MAWA (Mentoring Artist's for Women's Art) in Winnipeg, Manitoba the same year.

Her exhibition The Named and the Unnamed was organized by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia (curated by Scott Watson and Charlotte Townsend Gault). The Named and the Unnamed was also shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Confederation Centre, and the Kamloops Art Gallery. Vigil is a performance-based video installation.

She represented Canada at the 2005 Venice Biennale, where she exhibited the video-based installation Fountain. Belmore was the first Aboriginal woman to represent Canada at the Biennale.[4]

Her 2006 exhibition Parallel was held at Urban Shaman / Ace Art Inc. In 2008, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosted Rising to the Occasion, a mid-career survey of Belmore's artistic production.



  • Augaitis, Daina; Kathleen Ritter (2008). Rebecca Belmore: Rising to the Occasion. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery. ISBN 9781895442687. 
  • Bradley, Jessica; Jolene Rickard, Kamloops Art Gallery, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Biennale di Venezia (2005). Rebecca Belmore: Fountain. Vancouver: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. ISBN 9780888656346. 
  • Blondeau, Lori, et al. "On the Fightin’ Side of Me: Lori Blondeau and Lynne Bell in conversation with Rebecca Belmore." Fuse Magazine, Vol. 28, No. 1. pp. 25–34.
  • Bradley, Jessica. "Rebecca Belmore: Art and the Object of Performance." In Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women. Tanya Mars and Johanna Householder, eds. Toronto: YYZ Books, 2004.
  • Enright, Robert. “The Poetics of History: An Interview with Rebecca Belmore”, Border Crossings, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2005.
  • Burgess, Marilyn. "The Imagined Geographies of Rebecca Belmore." Parachute, No. 93, Jan/Feb/March, 1999. pp. 12–20.
  • Fisher, Barbara. 33 Pieces. Mississuaga: Blackwood Gallery, 2001.
  • Hill, Richard William. "It’s Very Interesting if it Works: In Conversation with Rebecca Belmore and James Luna." Fuse Magazine, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2001. pp. 28–33.
  • "Built on Running Water: Rebecca Belmore's Fountain." Fuse Magazine. Vol. 29, No. 1, 2006. pp. 49–51.
  • Martin, Lee-Anne. “The Waters of Venice: Rebecca Belmore at the 51st Biennale.” In Canadian Art, vol. 22, 2005.
  • Mayrhofer, Ingrid (2006). Ephemeral Monuments: The Interventions of Rebecca Belmore and César Saez. Ottawa: Galerie SAW Gallery. 
  • Townsend-Gault, Charlotte (2002). Rebecca Belmore: The Named and the Unnamed. Vancouver: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. ISBN 9780888656285. 


  1. ^ Augaitis, Daina (2008). Rising to the Occasion. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery. ISBN 9781895442687. 
  2. ^ Jessica Bradley (2006). Tanya Mars and Johanna Householder, ed. Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women. Toronto, ON: YYZ Books. pp. 120–129. ISBN 0-920397-84-0. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "From the Archives: Rebecca Belmore at the 2005 Venice Biennale". Canadian Art. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 

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