Montreal, October 1, 2019 – Visitors have until October 6 to discover Braving the Monumental, the oft-lauded Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore’s largest exhibition to date. Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where it was warmly received last summer, the exhibition Facing the Monumental presents a group of strikingly visceral images that address the urgent question of our times. One cannot remain impassive when taking in the exhibition’s powerful works, which have been impressing visitors and the media from the beginning of the exhibition.

What they thought of Rebecca Belmore : Facing the Monumental

“It’s a poignant and well-executed exhibition. I had goosebumps throughout. Thank you.”
– A visitor

“Rebecca Belmore’s exhibition was fantastic, powerful and well orchestrated. Thank you for introducing us to this artist!”
– A visitor

“If you’ve ever thought that art categorized loosely as performative, installation-based or conceptual is in some way forbidding or inaccessible, Facing the Monumental is the perfect opportunity to get past that. Belmore’s work has a power that bypasses theory and art-world ‘isms’ to make a direct emotional impact.” 
– The Montreal Gazette

“A leading figure of contemporary art in Canada, the Ontario and Anishinaabe artist is eminently relevant.” 
– La Presse

“Rebecca Belmore’s work is both seductive and striking. Kind of like the iconic 60s song Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down): the tune is catchy, as are the lyrics, but then a darker side is revealed.”
– Le Devoir

“[Rebecca Belmore’s work] needs no explanation. It’s simple, yet extraordinarily powerful.”
– Radio-Canada – Culture Club

One of Canada’s most celebrated and important contemporary artists, Rebecca Belmore started working as a performance artist in the late 1980s. This medium of immediacy and presence continues to influence her diverse practice. Her works address global conflicts and crises driven by climate change, water access, land use, homelessness, and human displacement and migrations. She contends with our conflicting relationships with land, the state of women’s lives, historical events and continuing violence against Indigenous peoples.

Facing the Monumental brings together a focused selection of sculptures, installations and photographs dating from 2001, as well as a compilation of ten video documents of her performances since 1991. It is the largest survey of her work to date, providing a sense of the breadth of her practice and the depth of her political engagement.

The exhibition is organized by the AGO and curated by Wanda Nanibush, Curator, Indigenous Art. The MAC presentation is organized by Lesley Johnstone, Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Education.


On Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5, the Musée d’art contemporain will host the 13th Max and Iris Stern International Symposium: Indigenous Women, Embodiment and Sovereignty. The symposium will close the Montreal run of the Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental exhibition by exploring its themes. Indigenous women have been the root of many key mobilization efforts within their communities. They have spent years advocating for investigations into the causes of the violence they suffer across Canada and Quebec, as well as ways to remedy them. The recently published reports were an opportunity to (re)affirm their presence in the public and socio-political landscape, at a time when they are also vividly expressing world views and imagination on the art scene. This symposium combines performative lectures and theoretical reflections to echo the reports’ recommendations and listen to some of the leaders talk about the issues that concern them.
General admission, $15
Tickets for sale here

A performance by artist Rebecca Belmore will conclude the symposium and the end of the exhibition.
Free, at the Place des Arts esplanade, 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 4


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The MAC would like to thank Terres en vues, as part of its partnership with festival Présence autochtone (August 4 – 16, 2019). The Museum also thanks its media partners: La Presse and The Gazette.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal makes today’s art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever-growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The MAC presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum’s extensive collection. These may feature any and every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the MAC organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond.

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]