Bed Island (Don’t Sleep), 2016
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Nadia Belerique’s installations engage with the complex nature of perception while questioning the role of images and their performativity in contemporary culture. Her work exists at the intersection of the handmade and the high-tech, calling on multiple layers of production, from the arrangement of found objects and images to their transformation into photographic prints through scanning. The presentation of these images as part of sculptural environments adds further depth to their experience in space.
In her most recent body of sculptural works, Belerique explores the motif of the bed—the place of rest, passion, dreams, and languishing. Here, however, the bed’s intimate, psychological associations are erased by the publicness of the exhibition space experience as much as by her use of industrial materials such as welded steel and frosted glass.
A cyclorama wall frames the installation of three elevated steel frames suggestive of tabletops but referencing beds. The elements laid on their rectangular surfaces reference identity—shoes, jewellery, glassware, clothing, and so on—and the artist directs the viewing experience: the objects are only partially visible through the frosted glass pane and the composition can only be seen from below. From this particular vantage point, the staged objects produce a play between positive and negative space, as the light and the glass create a sculptural photographic image. And it is precisely in this blurring of mediums that Belerique’s strength lies.