toronto

View of “Rebecca Belmore,” 2018. From left: Tower, 2018; tarpaulin, 2018.

Rebecca Belmore

Art Gallery of Ontario

In a rare self-portrait by Rebecca Belmore, the artist stands at a distance with her back to the camera, unrecognizable in a bright-orange work suit, its fluorescent X demarcating her shoulders against a huge expanse of plastic tarp. Safety vests appear throughout her photographs as uniforms for the artist as worker, but they also serve a signatory function: On land treaties with the British colonial government, indigenous leaders often marked their names with an X. In wearing this sign in the Canadian landscape, Belmore asserts her presence as both resident and author, marker and maker, whose role is to confront the impossible.

It’s fitting, then, that Belmore’s solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario was titled “Facing the Monumental”: The name served as both the show’s theme and its mandate, given that it was the first survey of Belmore’s thirty-year career at a major Canadian

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.