Rebecca Belmore: 33 Pieces

Produced in conjunction with the 2001 exhibition Rebecca Belmore: 33 Pieces

47 pages, softcover with dust jacket, full colour, 15cm x 21cm
ISBN 0-7727-8203-2


cover of 33 Pieces catalogue

This catalogue documents an artist-in-residence project by nationally and internationally acclaimed artist of Anishinabe descent Rebecca Belmore at the Blackwood Gallery in 2001, which was curated by then Director/Curator Barbara Fischer. Named 33 Pieces after the 33 pieces of the human spine, this exhibition by Rebecca Belmore presented a series of new, interrelated works based on past and ongoing concerns in her performance and installation works. Transforming the gallery into a temporary studio, the exhibition took shape in the form of residual or newly made sculptural and auditory works. The catalogue documents this project and additionally includes essays by Dot Tuer and Barbara Fischer, as well as the first published performance chronology and complete exhibition and publications listing for Belmore.


Rebecca Belmore has been making work as a performance artist for nearly fifteen years. But due to the nature of the medium—usually a singular event—only those who know the artist well can glean the depth and intensity of that work. When I asked her if she might be interested in developing an exhibition specifically centred on her performances (through objects and documents), it gradually became clear that this was not an appropriate avenue for her. Documentation of her performances in photography or video had always been incidental, if not altogether secondary. Where it existed, it had been initiated by others. The concerns of Belmore’s work, I learned, lie elsewhere: in a particular place, with a particular audience and in relation to particular contextual, historical and “imagined” geographies. [1]

The proposed exhibition, therefore, evolved into an artist-in-residence project where the gallery served as temporary studio and became a socially active space for its entire situation. Named after the thirty-three pieces of the human spinal column, the exhibition situated past works as the invisible point of departure (the backbone) for a series of new works in diverse media. The new works represent aspects of Belmore’s ongoing personal and political interests as an artist of Anishinabe descent, her concerns with actualities rather than abstractions.

–Introduction to “Appearing Acts: Rebecca Belmore’s 33 Pieces” by Barbara Fischer  

1. Marilyn Burgess, “The Imagined Geographies of Rebecca Belmore,” Parachute 93 (Jan./Feb./Mar. 1999), pp. 12-20. This essay is the most thorough discussion of Belmore’s work to date.

Table of Contents

Appearing Acts: Rebecca Belmore’s 33 Pieces  p. 9
Barbara Fischer

Performing Memory: The Art of Storytelling in the Work of Rebecca Belmore  p. 29
Dot Tuer

Rebecca Belmore Performance Chronology  p. 40
Compiled by Jessie Caryl

List of Works: 33 Pieces  p. 44

Acknowledgments  p. 45

Artists & Writers

Rebecca Belmore
Barbara Fischer
Dot Tuer


Editing: Susan Harrison
Design: Andrew Di Rosa/ SMALL
Photography: Michael Beynon and courtesy of the artist; Paul Couillard (p. 23 top)

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Related Projects

thumbnail for 33 Pieces exhibition

Rebecca Belmore: 33 Pieces
January 15 - February 18, 2001
Curated by Barbara Fischer