What is MOMENTA ?
MOMENTA Biennale de l’image is a contemporary art dissemination and mediation platform that operates year-round with ongoing activities. The organization stands out for the position it takes and the questions it asks on the place of the image in today’s societies. Among MOMENTA’s wide range of activities, the biennial is a flagship event presented in partnership with exhibition partners from all over the world. Based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal, MOMENTA has been organizing exhibitions, digital projects, public programs, creative workshops, and collaborations of all kinds for over 30 years.
MOMENTA’s activities take place on stolen, unceded territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation. These lands and waterways have long served as a meeting site for many Nations, including the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron/Wendat, the Abenaki, and the Anishinaabeg (Algonquin). Even today, these lands are the home of Indigenous peoples from across the globe who gather here in beauty. Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal has a deep colonial history that persists today in many ways; we stand in solidarity with the Indigenous nations that have fought to protect their sovereignty and the land over the years. It is the biennial’s privilege to be able to work and present in this territory. We do our best to dismantle colonial harm wherever possible.
Although we recognize that simply acknowledging the land and waterways that have been stewarded by Indigenous nations since time immemorial is not in itself enough, we strive to ensure ongoing accountability for work done on these lands and to nurture and uphold anti-colonial frameworks. We are grateful to the guardians of the land, whose stewardship allows these relationships to continue; to the numerous Indigenous artists with whom the organization had conversations as its activities were formulated; and to the people who generously share their works with the team and with the public.
This territorial acknowledgment is adapted from the acknowledgment developed by the curators of the 2021 edition of the biennial, Stefanie Hessler, Camille Georgeson-Usher, and Himali Singh Soin. We thank them for their engagement and attention.
Mission and Mandate
MOMENTA’s mission is to have a sensitive and meaningful impact on the world around us by means of images. We bring this intention to life through unifying and structuring initiatives for art dissemination and education, which foster reflection on and accessibility to contemporary art. The organization offers Quebec, Canadian, and international audiences engaging and inclusive activities that highlight Canada’s cultural innovation and provides an exceptional showcase for artists from the four corners of the globe.
Founded in 1989 as Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, the organization was renamed MOMENTA Biennale de l’image for its 15th edition, in 2017. The first Mois de la Photo à Montréal was organized by VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine in 1989 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of photography. Until 2002, VOX was responsible for holding the event. In September 2002, it became an autonomous corporation. The change in administration was followed by the adoption of a new artistic direction concept. For every biennial, a curator is invited to propose a contemporary theme around which a series of exhibitions, a catalogue, and many public activities are produced. Between 20 and 40 artists from Canada and abroad are selected and their works are presented in 15 partner venues throughout the city.
From Photography to Image-based Practices
The plural of the Latin word momentum, the name MOMENTA was chosen as a nod to the “decisive moment,” a key notion of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s, and to photography, which was the organization’s founding medium. It underlines the fact that the event, once centred essentially on the field of photography, now encompasses all image-based practices, in an era when images are being produced in different media and in various places
MOMENTA: A Dissemination and Mediation Platform
With a desire to bring contemporary art to Quebec, Canada, and the rest of the world, MOMENTA is extending its activities beyond the years during which it features a particular theme to have a year-round presence. In addition to the biennial program, MOMENTA designs and produces special projects, public programs, exhibitions, and educational activities in partnership with local, national, and international organizations and exhibition venues. The organization is now positioning itself as a platform for dissemination of artists’ work and for mediation with publics by offering ongoing activities.
Over the last 10 editions, the biennial has presented more than 550 artists and 2,450 artworks to a total audience of 2 million. More than 100 partners join the biennial for each edition, and almost 200 cultural stakeholders participate in it.
Consult our archives to learn more about past editions of MOMENTA and Le Mois de la photo.
Assistant Artistic Director
Associate Administrative Director
Exhibitions and Special Projects Coordinator
Mohamed Ben Soltane
Communications and Partnerships Coordinator
2023 visual identity
Studio Pianpian He and Max Harvey
Design and Development
House9 Design, house9design.ca
Education and Audience Development Coordinator
Marcela Borquez Schwarzbeck
Board of directors
Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Education
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
President of ESA Management Inc.
Chief Operating Officer
Marketing, sales, and coaching consultant
Espace Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Curator and Executive Director
Fondation PHI pour l’art contemporain
Mojeanne Sarah Behzadi
Art historian and independent curator
MOMENTA Biennale de l’image
5445 de Gaspé Avenue, #611
Montreal (Quebec) H2T 3B2
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm