It has been a pleasure to work alongside renowned Anishinaabe Canadian artist, Rebecca Belmore, during her creation and performance of “Here.”
Belmore’s description of her performance art piece, which took place Saturday, March 1, 2014:
Somewhere within the city, a fire will be kept mid-afternoon. An offering of tea and bannock will be made to passersby. Here, a notice will be posted stating that the fire itself and the sound of our voices will be streamed live via video-camera and projected onto a large wall at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. A fire with people gathered around it for warmth becomes a poetic projection, a measure of the conceptual distance between the disparate realities that exist within our cities. The simultaneous positioning of myself as community member and as artist, questions the impact and role of the creative gesture. A giveaway will take place at both sites.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery and the University of Winnipeg’s Institute for Women’s & Gender Studies commissioned acclaimed artist Rebecca Belmore to create Here, a new performance work in connection with the exhibition Off the Beaten Path: Women, Art and Violence. A live stream from the performance site to the WAG ran from 2-4pm. The undisclosed site of the art piece, announced at her artist talk the next day, was Thunderbird House.
Hear Belmore’s description of the art piece here.
Working with Rebecca Belmore and our organizing group was an exhilarating experience. Despite the extreme cold at -40°C we managed staying outside all day with the support of the warm fire, coffee and tea, and delicious bannock from The Bannock Lady, Althea Guiboche.
While working with Belmore, we also learned more about her commissioned art piece for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR), which she has called Trace Project. Belmore is creating a collaborative blanket of clay hand-pressed beads to be hung at the CMHR to represent colonization, our relationship to the earth and historic land which the building stands on, as well as individual traces left behind.
During an organizing meeting for Here at Neechi Commons, we were all able to make a few beads with our organizing group, Anna Wiebe (WAG), Shelagh Pizey-Allen (IWGS), Christina Hajjar (IWGS), Lesley Klassen (videographer, Camp Fire Union), and Rebecca Belmore to contribute to the Trace Project.
You can read more about the Trace Project on CBC or the CMHR.
Belmore’s artist talk for the Trace Project is on Wednesday, April 9th, at 2:30pm, Room 2B23, University of Winnipeg.
You can visit Rebecca Belmore and Theo Pelmus at the Neechi Commons (865 Main St) to make your own beads every Wednesday, Thursday & Friday between 12:00pm – 5:00pm or every Saturday & Sunday between 10:00 am – 4:00pm. Go and wrap your hand around some clay!
I also recommend checking out the Off The Beaten Path exhibition which will be at the WAG until April 20, 2014.