Resolve (Zhiibendamowin)

Dozens of white/gray rocks are arranged in a pattern on a gray platform. They are grouped together into curved lines. The edges where the rocks meet have a bit of metallic color showing.

Resolve by Michael Belmore, 2022

Stone, copper leaf. Courtesy the artist © Michael Belmore. Installation photography by Charlie Edwards, courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Art

About the Art

Michael Belmore
Anishinaabe, 1971 gaa-ondaadizi

Asin, desimiskwaabik
Nimiigwechiwenimaanaan Gaazheninjiged
Mishigami Gichigabegikendaasowigamig izhi-Ganawendaanaawaan Gaazheninjigaadeg waabanda’inegwaa ge Wayekwaajiwan izhiseg wenji-nanaandomangid Gaazheninjiged

Miskwaabik aapiji babaami-ayaa Gichigami wayekwaajiwanong. Anishinaabeg aapiji ochi-inenimaawaan miskwaabikoon, mii igo dash izhi-inendaagwag onjibaad iw apii miigaadiwaad animikiig ge daawaad giizhigong gaye mishibizhiwag ge daawaad nibiing. Iw apii zaagiskwagiziwag miskwaabik dash ishkosed, mii dash wenji-bimaadiziwaad manidoog. Zhiibendamowin-ing asiniig gaa-izhi-ayaawag nibiing bagwaji-ashi’indwaa, aanawi endaso weweni mazinikonigowaad gaazheninjigenid wii-naabinaminid. Izhi-aanikoobijigaazowag, aanind asiniig agwani’igowaad desimiskwaabikoon – mii dash inaagoziwag dibishkoo akakanaakideg. Belmore aapiji Onanaagadawenimaawaan manidoon gaye gaa-wenjibaanid daso asiniin; ishkodeng gaa-izhi-giizheninjigaadeg giiwitaawigamig.

Michael Belmore
First Nations (Anishinaabe-Ojibway), born

Stone, copper leaf
Courtesy of the artist
Commissioned by the University of Michigan Museum of Art for Watershed

The Great Lakes region includes some of the world’s largest copper deposits. Copper has particular resonance in Anishinaabe culture, where it is celebrated as the blood produced by the conflict between the animikiig (thunderbirds) who reside in the sky and the mishibizhiig (panthers) beneath the water. These battling forces beget blood in the physical form of copper, which is the life source for manitous (spirits). In Resolve, water-worn stones are arranged in a seemingly natural pattern, yet each one has been carefully carved by the artist to join seamlessly with others. At the intimate points of connection, the stones are gilded with copper leaf; together they appear to glow like a fire’s embers. For Belmore, this visual energy links his work to manitous and to the original state of the stones themselves—molten fire that formed the land on which we live.

About the Exhibit

Watershed at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

Watershed was on display June 4–October 23, 2022. It brought recent work from fifteen contemporary artists to UMMA for an exhibition that immersed visitors in the interconnected histories, present lives, and imagined futures of the Great Lakes region.

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