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Fogo Island Gallery presents Nadia Belerique: Body in Trouble

July 29–September 25, 2022

Oh you just want to push somebody
and a body won’t let you
you want to move somebody 
and a body won’t let you want to  
feel somebody
and a body won’t let you
oh who, who, 
who do you talk to
who do you talk to
who do you talk to
when a body’s in trouble
in trouble
ah who?

—Excerpt from Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “Body’s in Trouble” (1988)

Nadia Belerique was invited to hold a solo show of her work in 2022 following a stay at Fogo Island Arts seven years prior. With her time spent on Fogo Island, where she started experimenting with incorporating sculptural and architectural gestures into a practice that was predominately photographic at the time, Belerique created a new collection of pieces called Body in Trouble.

Nadia Belerique was born in Toronto, Canada, in the early 1980s. She grew up during the same period as Mary Margaret O’Hara, a Canadian singer-songwriter, released the song “Body’s in Trouble” in 1988. The song serves as a pivotal introduction to Belerique’s new body of work, which, like this song, is focused on the experience of the physical form and its flaws. “Body’s in Trouble” has received recognition for balancing a tension between tradition and formlessness; Belerique’s art also possesses this quality. The audience is invited to follow visual cues and add their own interpretation to the work while yet fitting into a carefully planned set of relations. Her work networks commonplace materials and art historical motifs in ways that generate meaning but still provide room for interpretation.

Belerique’s latest collection of work, which spans photography, sculpture, and installation, uses sincerity and sarcasm to create an immersive experience that is both an image and an installation. Belerique carefully considers how objects are placed in space, working like a set designer or film director, to create a scenario that is both an actual scene to be experienced and a metaphorical scene for the imagination—as a way to question how images are mediated while also taking into account how meaning is ascribed to objects.

Body in Trouble is curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen and Claire Shea.

In the fall of 2022, a brand-new book titled Body in Trouble will be published. It will include an introduction by Nicolaus Schafhusen and Claire Shea, an interview with Nadia Belerique, and comments by Ruba Katrib, director of curatorial affairs at MoMA PS1, and Tom Engels, artistic director at the Grazer Kunstverein. It is co-published by Sternberg Press.

Nadia Belerique (b. 1982) received her MFA from the University of Guelph. Most recently, her work was included in the Toronto Biennial of Art (2022), curated by Candice Hopkins, Tairone Bastien, and Katie Lawson, and the New Museum Triennial (2021), curated by Margot Norton and Jamillah James. Recent solo exhibitions include: There’s A Hole In The Bucket at Daniel Faria Gallery (2019), On Sleep Stones at Grazer Kunstverein (2018), and The Weather Channel at Oakville Galleries (2018). Her work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig (2020); Lyles & King, New York (2019); Arsenal Contemporary, New York (2018); Vie d’ange, Montréal (2017); Tensta Konsthall, Spånga (2016); The Power Plant, Toronto (2015); and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2014). Her work was included in La Biennale de Montréal (2016), curated by Philippe Pirotte, and the Gwangju Biennale (2016), curated by Maria Lind. Belerique was long-listed for the 2017 Sobey Art Award and has completed residencies at Walk & Talk (The Azores, Portugal) and Fogo Island Arts (Fogo Island, Newfoundland), among others. She lives and works in Warkworth, Canada. 

Fogo Island Arts
210 Main Street, Joe Batt’s Arm
Newfoundland and Labrador A0G 2X0
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