MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image 2017

by Photo Life

LaToya Ruby Frazier, «Mom Making an Image of Me», from «The Notion of Family» series, 2008, gelatin silver print, 40,6 x 50,8 cm. Courtesy of Michel Rein (Paris, Brussels) and Gavin Brown’s enterprise (New York, Rome)

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom September 7 through October 14, MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image (formerly Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal) will examine the theme “What does the image stand for?” through exhibitions and special events. The public will be asked to question the testimonial value of images by reflecting on objectivity and subjectivity. Its main exhibition will be in the spaces at the Galerie de l’UQAM and VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine.

The artists
Galerie de l’UQAM: Adel Abdessemed (France), Luis Arturo Aguirre (Mexico), Seung Woo Back (Korea), Yto Barrada (Morocco), Dora Budor (Croatia), Sara Cwynar (Canada), Nelson Henricks (Canada), Camille Henrot (France), Risa Horowitz (Canada), Boris Mitić (Serbia), Nadia Myre (Canada) Galerie de l’UQAM and VOX: LaToya Ruby Frazier (United States), Terrance Houle (Canada), Joshua Petherick (Australia) VOX: Mircea Cantor (Romania), Samuel Fosso (Cameroon), Pascal Grandmaison (Canada), Frédéric Lavoie (Canada), Hanna Liden (Sweden), Liu Yue (China), Moshe Ninio (Israel), J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria), Kim Waldron (Canada)

“Today, images capture the world at every instant. But what do they say at this point? Are they an objective framing of the world at a given moment? What has become of these markers of reality? MOMENTA 2017 explores multitudinous facets of the idea of 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. The 23 artists presented at Galerie de l’UQAM and VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine – the event’s headquarters – explore and investigate the porous boundary between reality and imagination through complex issues such as identity, territory, history, and time.” — Ami Barak, guest curator

The 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).

The catalogue
Momenta Seung Woo Back Utopia 1The biennale would be incomplete without its catalogue. Co-produced with the prestigious publishing house Kerber Verlag, it brings together texts by the curator and five authors, Mara Ambrožič, Mirna Boyadjian, Françoise Docquiert, Sophie Hackett and Bénédicte Ramade, who address the question What Does the Image Stand For? Artist Micah Lexier also created a photographic project especially for the book. The publication will be launched at the opening on September 6. Subsequently, the publication will be on sale at Galerie de l’UQAM and VOX as well as through Kerber Verlag’s website. $45, 176 pages, available in French and English.

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.

Nadia Myre, «Slit and Black, from the Scarscapes 2 series», 2017, digital prints, 192 x 110 cm each. Courtesy of Art Mûr (Montréal)

Dora Budor, «Those Who Can Wreck the Infinite», 2015, digital print, 180 x 270 cm, photograph in collaboration with Robert Kulisek. Courtesy of New Galerie (Paris)

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