Rebecca Belmore

Vancouver Art Gallery

The centerpiece of this midcareer survey of Rebecca Belmore’s work was Fountain, 2005, a video installation she created for the Canadian pavilion at the Fifty-first Venice Biennale. Known for the intensity and physicality of her performance work, Belmore is also a talented sculptor with a restrained aesthetic rooted in Arte Povera and process traditions. In the ambitious Fountain, a video of Belmore struggling in the ocean off Iona Beach just south of Vancouver is projected onto a sixteen-foot-wide waterfall running along the back wall of the darkened gallery. In the video, the Anishinabe (First Nations) artist ultimately gathers herself and walks up the beach toward the camera, only to cast at the screen a pail of “seawater” that turns out to be blood. The shimmering, flowing water casts over the bloody projection a haze suggestive of a dream or vision.

Not as elegant and ethereal as it

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