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Facing the Monumental

Facing the Monumental

Facing the monumental issues of our time.

In a 2012 performance piece, Rebecca Belmore transformed an oak tree surrounded by monuments to colonialism in Toronto's Queens Park into a temporary "non-monument" to the Earth.

For more than 30 years, she has given voice in her art to social and political issues, making her one of the most important contemporary artists working today. Employing a language that is both poetic and provocative, Belmore's art has tackled subjects such as water and land rights, women's lives and dignity, and state violence against Indigenous people. Writes Wanda Nanibush, "by capturing the universal truths of empathy, hope and transformation, her work positions the viewer as a witness and encourages us all to face what is monumental."

Facing the Monumental presents 28 of her most famous works, including Fountain, her entry to the 2005 Venice Biennale, and At Pelican Falls, her moving tribute to residential school survivors, as well as numerous new and in-progress works. The book also includes an essay by Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art at the AGO, that examines the intersection of art and politics. It will accompany an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario scheduled from 12 July to 21 October 2018.

Rebecca Belmore is one of Canada's most distinguished artists. She has won the Hnatyshyn Award (2009), the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts (2013), and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2016). A member of Lac Seul First Nation, she was the first Aboriginal woman to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale. She has also participated in more than 60 one-person and group exhibitions around the world.




Born in Upsala, Ontario, Rebecca Belmore is a member of Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe). She attended the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and is internationally recognized for her performance and installation art. Since 1987, her multi-disciplinary work has addressed history, place, and identity through the media of sculpture, installation, video, and performance.

Belmore was Canada's official representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale, the first indigenous artist to represent Canada at the event. Her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions both nationally and internationally including two solo touring exhibitions, 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).



136 pages
Pub date: July 17, 2018