Following a residency at Fogo Island Arts seven years ago, Nadia Belerique was invited to present a solo exhibition of her work in 2022. Body in Trouble is a new series of works by Belerique that are directly linked to her time on Fogo Island, where she began to experiment with integrating sculptural and architectural gestures into a practice that was predominantly photographic at the time.
Nadia Belerique was born in Toronto, Canada, in the early 1980s, growing up around the time when Canadian singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara’s song “Body’s in Trouble” (1988) was released. The song is an important starting point for Belerique’s new work, which, like this track, is concerned with the experience of the physical form and its discontents. “Body’s in Trouble” has been praised for straddling a tension between tradition and formlessness, a characteristic that Belerique’s work also shares. In her work, everyday materials and art historical tropes are networked in ways that develop meaning but also remain open-ended, encouraging the viewer to follow visual clues but also bring their own meaning to bear on the work, all the while fitting into a carefully constructed set of relations.
Working across photography, sculpture, and installation, Belerique’s new body of work draws on both sincerity and satire to construct an installation to be entered that is simultaneously an image to be experienced. Working like a film director or set designer, Belerique carefully considers how objects are placed in space to create a scenario that is a scene to be experienced but also offers up a metaphorical scene for the imagination – as a means of questioning how images are mediated, while also considering how meaning is ascribed to objects.
Body in Trouble is curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen and Claire Shea.