Rebecca Belmore

Gone Indian, 2009

Royal Bank Plaza, Bay Street

Gone Indian, a collaborative pow-wow performance at the Royal Bank of Canada Plaza, featured a van with a home-on-the-rez arrangement of chairs on its roof, mud painting, simulated buckskin rug, antlers, amplified sound and lighting. To the rhythms of traditional drumming and singing and native hip-hop, Michael Greyeyes danced in full Cree regalia, while Rebecca Belmore carried out a powerful ritual integrating sage, sweetgrass and the "grinding" of thousands of pennies eventually left on the pavement. Belmore temporarily reclaimed what had once been First Nations' land by bringing a pow-wow to the financial district and invoking another kind of presence. In this way, The RBC Plaza, along with the adjacent streets and buildings, became the impromptu grounds for a restorative performance for spectators of the present as well as the past.

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