Extension for ‘DIVINA DALÍ’ comes after a flood of interest in the exhibition
The works of Salvador Dalí continue to be a huge hit
Open since July, the exhibition DIVINA DALÍ, where 101 works of artist Salvador Dalí are on display, has been extended.
With the original closing day set to be Oct. 31, DIVINA DALÍ will now remain available until Nov. 28 due to a positive reception from art-faring Montrealers.
Creator of the exhibition and director of La Girafe en Feu Félix Bélanger expressed how he finds Dalí less intimidating to viewers when compared to other artists and that his crazy surrealist flair makes him accessible to everyone. The exposition is based on the 14th century poet Dante Illigieri’s epic poem, “Inferno.” Dalí’s works illustrate the poet and his trip through Hell, Purgatory, and his subsequent ascension to Heaven. The exposition is located in the Grand Quay of the Port of Montreal, which features panoramic views and a sunset perch.
Jean-Sébastien Deshaies-Massarelli, the event facilitator, elaborated on the exhibit’s vision and what the curator had in mind. “He doesn’t want only to present something about Dalí, he wants to create a multisensory event and use the environment to create something unique.”
The ambiance is admittedly very fitting for Dalí. “The space is like a work of art. It creates this environment, this feeling of voyaging, of travelling,” he said. Since the works of Dante date back to the 14th century, the exposition opens the door to over seven hundred years of history. Dalí’s collection was a project that spanned over decades that some say reflects the artist’s own spiritual journey. The exhibit features historical context and directs the rooms with quotes from Illighieri’s “Inferno.”
The director revealed that his love for Montreal was one of the reasons to show his exposition in his hometown. “I’m not only a Montréalais, je suis un Montréaliste! I can’t imagine myself not being a part of the contemporary Montreal art scene,” he said. “When you create you need some feedback and having feedback from people that are like me gives a better idea of what I’m doing. It was important to present it first in Montreal, and also to create this exhibition with people from here.”
“It was important to present it first in Montreal, and also to create this exhibition with people from here.” — Félix Bélanger
Also on display is Dalí’s set design for the movie Spellbound by Alfred Hitchcock. On top of the installations, the exhibition offers DJ sets on select nights featuring Kid Koala and Monk.e. On any other night, the installation is flooded with synths and mellow sounds that set the mood to savour the works, the ambiance, and the scenographic design. If you’re feeling creative, seating and tables are available to the public, creating a space for one to make their own art, should they feel inspired by the exhibition.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, DIVINA DALÍ was received with excitement. Gregg Parks, the producer of the exhibit, explained how they got around the challenges of creating DIVINA DALÍ during the pandemic.
“Instead of doing it in a traditional way with art gallery installation materials, [...] the idea of doing it with theatrical equipment with light, sound and drapes sort of became the way to go,” he said. “It allowed us to do it quickly, without a huge investment.”
Parks elaborated on the reception of the mise-en-scène. “The expressiveness of the theatre part and [being able to see the works] really [meant] we weren’t limited theatrically with what we could do. So, I think people really like the exhibit because of those elements,” said Parks.
Even through pandemic-related uncertainties, Salvador Dalí manages to captivate the masses through concept and illustration.
Bélanger specified he believes Dalí’s genius will no doubt be enjoyed for centuries to come. “He was a master, he was a genius, and what he left to us will last for hundreds and hundreds of years,” he said.
Dalí’s work will continue to be enjoyed and the general public is happy the exhibit has been extended for one more month. Bélanger pointed out the public is eager for them to extend the exhibition until November. “[The extension is] gonna give another 30 days for people to enjoy DIVINA DALÍ. People reacted and they’re happy.”