Pierre Dalpé / Role-Play: Performances and Beliefs
July 15 to August 23, 2015 / Opening: Saturday July 18. Meet the artist and the curator from 1 to 3 p.m.


Bringing together four photographic series by Montreal artist Pierre Dalpé, this exhibition reflects a consistent artistic approach insofar as it proposes a set of representations that, although autonomous, emphasize what they have in common: role-playing as a practice of identity construction and social empowerment. Thus, through diverse expressions of identity-play, each series—PersonaeViernes SantoŌmihachiman no Hi-Matsuri Festival and Eitaro—focuses on a myriad of beliefs, which are off-shoots of religious, community and celebratory ritual that reveal a part of our collective and shared convictions and truths.

The collection of photographs plunges us into the heart of Dalpé’s work, offering a broad overview of his rich stylistic research. Dalpé’s œuvre constantly seeks to demystify feminine/masculine codes—the transformation of identity—and, by sharing a common truth with the spectator, awakens a sense of belonging. Engaging with these photographs forces us to exercise our creativity and self-awareness, and invites us to wholly inhabit our bodies through both the guilelessness of our games of appearance as well as the artificiality of our role-playing.

Karl-Gilbert Murray, curator 


Pierre Dalpé was born in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, and moved to Montréal at the age of 7, where he has since lived and worked. In 1993, he received a B.F.A. in film studies and photography from Concordia University. Over the past two decades Dalpé has produced several bodies of work including Clothes Minded (1990-1996), Backstage (1992 – ongoing), Wigstock (1992-1995), Personae (1997 – ongoing), Teatro México (2010), Viernes Santo (2010), Ōmihachiman no Hi-Matsuri Festival (2015) and Eitaro (2015). His work is a fusion of analog and digital photography, and explores the interconnected relationships between the body, identity, disguise and performance. Navigating between documentary reportage and staged mise en scène, Dalpé questions preconceived notions about photographic portraiture and narrative representations.

Dalpé’s work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Russia, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan (2016). His photographs are part of private collections, and have been published in a variety of journals, magazines, newspapers and periodicals. He is the recipient of numerous grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. He has participated in artist-in-residence programs at Banff Centre, The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Yukon, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec’s studio residency in Mexico City.


An art historian with an academic background, Karl-Gilbert Murray completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Université du Québec à Montréal. As an art critic, he has contributed to several periodicals, and as an author, he has written numerous exhibition catalogues and opuscules. As an independent curator, he has conceptualized and produced the following exhibitions: Le Corps gay/The Gay Body (2002-2006); Battre le « faire » au féminin : Louise Prescott, Christine Palmiéri et Renée Chevalier (2002); Attila Richard Lukacs, De l’obscurité / Inside Darkness (2008); Evergon, Jeux de la passion/Passion Plays (2009); Ed Pien, Déliaison /Unbinding (2011); Jim Verburg, Séquence/Still (2012); Sentier Art3 : Joachim Jacob, Ed Pien et Frédéric Saia (2012); Ed Pien, Papier peint/WallPaper (2013); Johannes Zits, Monticules de neige /Snow Mounds (2013); Alain Laframboise : Le sens du quotidien (2014); Sentier Art3 : Michael Belmore, Hannah Claus et Bonnie Devine (2014) and Alain Laframboise, Le sens du quotidien (2015).




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