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KWE: Photography, Sculpture, Video and Performance by Rebecca Belmore

Hooded figure with trail of black hair

KWE: Photography, Sculpture, Video and Performance by Rebecca Belmore

May 15–August 9, 2014

Curated by Wanda Nanibush

Co-presented with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

KWE delves into the complicated and fertile relationship between Indigeneity, art, and colonization. Kwe is the Anishinaabe word for woman and is a term of respect and is used to mark out a deeply personal exhibition. Rebecca Belmore’s artistic practice engages the question of what it is to be an Anishinaabe-kwe artist working today through photography, sculptures, videos, and performances. Belmore works toward creating art that functions as a poetic political intervention for her people and all the anonymous dispossessed. In her fierce, beautiful objects and images, Belmore transforms victimization and the seemingly unchanging nature of domination into an act of resistance and resurgence. Belmore’s work is beautiful but radically so because it resists both commodification and edification. The work she creates out of her deeply intuitive process taps into the precariousness of life.

This exhibition is produced in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT photography Festival who has commissioned a new public installation of billboards at the NE corner of Spadina Ave. and Front St. Belmore will also produce a new performance on May 23. We will close the exhibition with a performance of Belmore’s large megaphone, Speaking to their Mother, which will be marched from the gallery to the waterfront where it will be installed to allow people to speak to the spirit of the water, repurposing it for the politics of today.

Opening Reception

May 15, 2014, 6-8pm


May 23, 2014, 8-11pm
Featuring Rebecca Belmore

Curatorial Talk with Wanda Nanibush

Sunday, May 25, 2014, 2-3pm


Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to their Mother Gathering
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 1-6pm
Featuring Rebecca Belmore
Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island


Saturday, May 24, 2014 11am-1pm
Featuring Rebecca Belmore and Wanda Nanibush
Berkshire Conference on the History of Women
Anishinaabeg Kwewag: Artist, Feminist, Activist Panel
Hart House

Public Installation

Billboards @ Spadina Ave and Front St W, NE Corner
May 1-31, 2014
Supported by Pattison Outdoor Advertising and Nikon Canada

Media Coverage

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, with additional project support from the Hal Jackman Foundation.

Title Image: Installation view of KWE: Rebecca Belmore, 2014. Image credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.

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