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A monumental opening

July 6th, 2018

Rebecca Belmore's artist (no. 2), a photo of a man in orange clothes in front of an orange wall

Rebecca Belmore, artist (No. 2), 2014. Photograph, 111.4 x 198.1 cm. Courtesy of the artist © Rebecca Belmore.

Join us on Wednesday, July 11 at 6 p.m. in Walker Court, as we honour the opening of Rebecca Belmore’s largest-ever solo exhibition. Featuring remarks by both the artist and the exhibition curator, Wanda Nanibush, the AGO’s Curator of Indigenous Art, visitors will be treated to a stirring performance by Cree cellist and composer Cris Derksen

Filling Level 5 of the AGO’s Vivian and David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental extends through a series of satellite installations into the AGO’s Galleria Italia, Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Atrium, and the newly reopened J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art, as well as at the intersection of Queen and Bay streets in downtown Toronto on the TD Bank media art wall.

Belmore is a recipient of the 2016 Gershon Iskowitz Prize, and for over three decades her poetic and compelling works – in video, sculpture and photography – have tackled topics such as land rights, violence against Indigenous people, water issues, climate change and homelessness. The AGO’s exhibition is a powerful presentation of Belmore’s work. Be among the first to see it.

We’ll talk more about this moving exhibition in the weeks to come, but here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store:

Rebecca Belmore's Sister, a large photograph of a woman's back on a wall

Rebecca Belmore, sister, 2010. Colour inkjet on transparencies, 213.4 x 365.8 cm (overall) Courtesy of the artist © Rebecca Belmore.

Sister was a site-specific work created for a window of Simon Fraser University’s Audain Gallery, which looked out onto Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The work was intended to be seen on February 14, 2010, by participants of the Annual Women’s Memorial March for missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Rebecca Belmore Fountain, 2005 Single-channel video with sound projected onto falling water 274cm x488 cm Courtesy of the artist © Rebecca Belmore

Fountain was first presented in 2005 at the 51st Venice Biennale. Belmore was the first female Indigenous artist to represent Canada. The installation features a single channel video rear projected onto a 16-foot wide screen of falling water, and is accompanied by audio. The video, features Belmore sitting in the ocean, filling buckets of water and ends with the contents of the bucket, now transformed into blood, being thrown at the viewer. The video was recorded at Iona Beach in British Columbia.

Rebecca Belmore, Biinjiya’iing Onji (From Inside), 2017. Hand-carved marble, 143cm x 209cm x 209cm National Gallery of Canada, purchased 2018 © Rebecca Belmore

A striking structure now sitting in the AGO’s Galleria Italia, this tent is made entirely of hand-carved marble, whose graceful folds resemble supple fabric. This work was first presented in Athens in 2017, on a hill with a view of the Parthenon. Addressing the historic mass migration of displaced peoples around the world, the sculpture exemplifies Belmore’s powerful site-specific practice.

Don’t miss these works and others. Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and runs until October 21. It is free with General Admission.

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