Canadian Art

Slideshow

Rebecca Belmore: Blanket Statements

An online supplement to the Spring 2012 issue of Canadian Art
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Indian Factory</em> 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque Rebecca Belmore The Indian Factory 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque

Rebecca Belmore <em>The Indian Factory</em> 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque

For more than two decades, the blanket has been a keystone in the work of Rebecca Belmore. It is an object loaded with heavy significance for First Nations peoples—from the sinister history of the smallpox pandemic that devastated Aboriginal communities in the 18th century to the institutional corruption that has left many modern individuals literally and socially “out in the cold," often with tragic consequences.

Curator and scholar Lee-Ann Martin sat down with Belmore in Winnipeg recently to unfold these troubled signifiers and their impacts on her work for a spring-issue feature interview. A selection of images gathered here reviews Belmore’s trenchant take on the conflicted legacies of tradition, protection, cover-up and disappearance represented by the blanket, including her latest work, The Blanket, a performance and video installation that debuted last year in the exhibition “Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years.”

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Rebecca Belmore The Indian Factory 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Indian Factory</em> 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque
Rebecca Belmore The Indian Factory 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque
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Rebecca Belmore The Indian Factory 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Indian Factory</em> 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque
Rebecca Belmore The Indian Factory 2000 Performance detail Courtesy AKA Gallery / photo Bradlee LaRocque
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Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
Rebecca Belmore <em>March 5, 1819</em> 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
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Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
Rebecca Belmore <em>March 5, 1819</em> 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
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Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
Rebecca Belmore <em>March 5, 1819</em> 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
Rebecca Belmore March 5, 1819 2008 Video still / photo Noam Gonick
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Rebecca Belmore blood on the snow 2002 Installation detail Courtesy Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery / photo Howard Ursuliak
Rebecca Belmore <em>blood on the snow</em> 2002 Installation detail Courtesy Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery / photo Howard Ursuliak
Rebecca Belmore blood on the snow 2002 Installation detail Courtesy Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery / photo Howard Ursuliak
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Rebecca Belmore The Named and the Unnamed 2002 Video installation Collection Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery / photo Howard Ursuliak
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Named and the Unnamed</em> 2002 Video installation Collection Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery / photo Howard Ursuliak
Rebecca Belmore The Named and the Unnamed 2002 Video installation Collection Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery / photo Howard Ursuliak
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Rebecca Belmore The Blanket 2011 Video still Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Blanket</em> 2011 Video still Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
Rebecca Belmore The Blanket 2011 Video still Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
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Rebecca Belmore The Blanket 2011 Video still Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Blanket</em> 2011 Video still Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
Rebecca Belmore The Blanket 2011 Video still Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
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Rebecca Belmore The Blanket 2011 Installation view Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
Rebecca Belmore <em>The Blanket</em> 2011 Installation view Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
Rebecca Belmore The Blanket 2011 Installation view Courtesy Plug In ICA / photo Scott Benesiiaabandan
This article was first published online on February 29, 2012.

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