(Upsala, Ontario, 1960)
Diachromie Cibachrome en caisson à lampes fluorescentes
81,5 x 244,8 x 16,7 cm
Acheté en 2011
Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, 43408
© Rebecca Belmore. Photo : Musée des beaux-arts du Canada
Originally displayed as a billboard in Montréal’s Mois de la Photo event, Fringe, by Rebecca Belmore, is a photograph mounted in a lightbox. It depicts a reclining woman whose back is marked by a long scar. What at first glance appear to be trickles of blood from the wound are actually strings of beads. This recalls the traditional craft of beading, also used by Nadia Myre. Expressing a tension between beauty and revulsion, Belmore’s work reads like a metaphor of scars left by the historical oppression of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It can also be seen as an allusion to violence against Aboriginal women, a long-kept secret exposed in 2004 when Amnesty International issued a damning report on the situation.
The work of the Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore stands out for her use of performance, photography, video and installation aimed at a critical reassessment of history. The body, whether of the artist or of a model, is the cornerstone of her practice. In Belmore’s works, it becomes the site of marks of history, but also the starting point toward potential freedom. In a constant back-and-forth between personal and political, the artist focuses specifically on the bodies of women to reveal both their wounds and their resilience.