September 7, 2017 - MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image - MOMENTA | Biennale de l'image : De quoi l'image est-elle le nom / What Does the Image Stand For ?
September 7, 2017

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image

Zanele Muholi, Somnyama IV, Oslo, 2015, from the "Somnyama Ngonyama" series, 2015. Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town, Johannesburg) and Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York).

MOMENTA | Biennale de l'image
De quoi l'image est-elle le nom / What Does the Image Stand For ?
September 7–October 15, 2017
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MOMENTA | Biennale de l'image
De quoi l'image est-elle le nom / What Does the Image Stand For ?
September 7–October 15, 2017
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Guest curator: Ami Barak 

150 works / 38 artists / 17 countries

For its 15th edition, MOMENTA (formely Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal) has joined forces with curator Ami Barak, who has developed an outstanding program on the theme What Does the Image Stand For? The 2017 edition of MOMENTA explores the concept of photographic and videographic evidence for the prosecution, whether images are still or in motion, raising the question of images as avatars and focusing on the fantastical and sublimated aspects of the reality that they convey. The 38 artists in this biennale invite us not to accept their testimony uncritically.

These artists intercede between the state of things and their possible interpretations. They are whistleblowers, and they prefer transfiguration to replication. Determined to produce differentiation, using allegories as intermediaries, they are revitalizing figuration. Their images speak of the world in different ways, but they systematically sidestep the real.

This year, the biennale comprises three segments. The first, which corresponds to the central exhibition at our headquarters, focuses on the work of 23 artists and is being presented at two sites: Galerie de l’UQAM and VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine. The second consists of 14 solo exhibitions spread throughout the city. And the third is an exhibition of documents located at Artexte.

176 pages. Available in English and French editions
Coedited by MOMENTA & Kerber Verlag
MOMENTA would be incomplete without its catalogue, co-produced with the prestigious publishing house Kerber Verlag. By considering the content and meaning of fixed and moving images, the artists and authors in this volume invite readers to cast a critical eye upon the testimonials offered. The catalogue includes essays by Mara Ambrožič, Ami Barak, Mirna Boyadjian, Françoise Docquiert, Sophie Hackett, and Bénédicte Ramade, as well as a photo-based project by Micah Lexier. The publication is being launched at the inauguration of the biennale on September 6.

Dazibao Prize
Since 2007, the Dazibao Prize has been awarded to an artist participating in MOMENTA whose work stands out for its conceptual rigour, its relevance, and its contribution to image-based practices. The recipient of the prize is invited to produce a book for Dazibao’s "Les portables" series, which is launched at the following edition of the biennale at the same time as the announcement of that edition’s recipient. Dedicated exclusively to one artist’s project, each title in this series acts as a travelling exhibition with unlimited circulation. This year, the Dazibao Prize event takes place on October 13, upon invitation, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

For nearly 30 years, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal has been offering a stimulating framework within which to study current practices, evolutions, and issues associated with the still and moving image in Western culture, and to take the pulse of trends in contemporary image making. Renamed MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image in 2017, the organization plays a crucial role in the local, national, and international ecology of the visual arts community. Through its curatorial approach, renowned guest curators develop rigorous artistic programming based on relevant themes; the biennale enjoys a well-established reputation in its city and country, as well as abroad. It actively contributes to the recognition of Canadian artists—who comprise more than 50% of the artists in each edition—by presenting their work within an international context, in association with 15 exhibition partners. In 7 editions, the organization has exhibited more than 2,000 works by 400 artists, and welcomed almost 22 million visitors.

Ami Barak: Guest curator
Ami Barak is an independent curator and art critic who lives and works in Paris. He has launched numerous exhibitions and projects, including Taryn Simon: Rear Views, A Star-Forming Nebula, and the Office of Foreign Propaganda,
 Jeu de Paume (Paris, 2015); Julião Sarmento: la chose, même the real thing, Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian (Paris, 2016); and Peter Kogler: Next, ING Art Center (Brussels, 2016). Artistic director of the Salon de Montrouge (2016 and 2017), he is also the co-curator of Life A User’s Manual, Art Encounters, Contemporary Art Biennale (Timisoara, 2017).

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De quoi l'image est-elle le nom / What Does the Image Stand For ?
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