1 April to 14 May 2005

Plug In ICA and La Maison des artistes are working together to organize the exhibition Selling Venus / Vénus au miroir, photo works and video installation by Winnipeg artist Dominique Rey. This partnered project will be presented as a shared event in two locations - Plug In ICA, 286 McDermot Avenue and La Maison des artistes, 219 boulevard Provencher (both in Winnipeg), opening simultaneously Friday, 1 April 2005, at 8 pm and 5:30 pm respectively.


Selling Venus / Vénus au miroir investigates the process of self-transformation as revealed through gesture and ritual. In most of her recent work, Dominique Rey photographs women – friends, relatives, strangers and herself – in order to explore the collision of image and identity that women constantly experience. Her ideas for this exhibition began to formulate while in Osaka, Japan, where she photographed the women who work at Lys Chante, a strip club that exclusively employs foreign women. She signed on as a stripper and worked for three days in the club, photographing the women in the dressing room and herself as they transformed themselves into “working women.” In the spring of 2003 and 2004, she traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to photograph, videotape, and audio record herself and forty of the women who work at the Crazy Horse, a large strip club where more than 150 women dance on a Saturday night. She set up a station in the dancers’ dressing room where she recorded their rituals of beautification. Each photograph is the image of the woman reflected in the mirror, her gaze directed both within and without as she prepares herself physically and psychologically for the voyeuristic gaze she is about to confront in performance. The video, with an audio track of dressing room conversations between the dancers and the artist, further explores this duality, between the private persona and the public mask.

Dominique Rey’s intention is to uncover illusions and stereotypes. She participates in order to experience the psychological shift herself and to work from a position of inclusion. The process is an extension of a performative act of self-transformation that she too (and almost every woman) enacts every day.

Dominique Rey graduated with a BFA Honours Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1999 and later studied at the Yale Summer School program in Norfolk. She is currently completing her MFA at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, New York. Her work has been shown across Canada including solo exhibitions at Gallery One One One and the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain in Winnipeg. In 2003 she was in the group exhibition, Young Winnipeg Artists at Plug In ICA and Another Other, a group exhibition at Gallery Neubacher in Toronto curated by Paul Butler. She has been awarded several grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. Her work has been reviewed in Border Crossings, the Winnipeg Free Press, ETC Montreal, and the Globe and Mail. Rey is a member of the board of Ace Art Inc. In 2005, Rey will be exhibiting her work in solo exhibitions at Plug In ICA and La Maison des artistes (Winnipeg) and Le Centre Clark (Montreal).

This exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual publication available in May 2005. Exhibition curators are Marie Bouchard and Carol Phillips.

For more information please contact: Carol Phillips or Karin Streu 204 942 1043