Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe, born 1960) is a Canadian artist who uses the female body as a site to explore and unpack violence done to First Nations peoples. She has performed and exhibited all over the world, and her work focuses on history, voice, place, and identity. She initially created the photographic work Fringe (2007) for a billboard in Quebec. The woman’s pose is reminiscent of the Odalisque figure, but features a jarring diagonal cut that runs across the reclining woman’s back. Dripping from the cut are thin streams of blood made of small red beads. This cut is meant to represent the trauma experienced by indigenous peoples, while simultaneously depicting healing. This work thus uses the Odalisque trope to explore issues of trauma, memory, resilience, and strength that are intimately tied to race and gender.    

Rebecca Belmore, Canadian (Anishinaabeg), born 1960
Fringe, 2007
Digital print (pigment on archival paper)
Sheet: 26 x 67 1/8 in. Image: 21 x 63 in.
Purchased through the Elizabeth and David C. Lowenstein '67 Fund and the Olivia H. Parker and John O. Parker '58 Acquisition Fund; 2010.65
© Rebecca Belmore