What is MOMENTA ?

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image is a contemporary art event devoted to the image, taking place in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal every two years since 1989. The biennale takes shape in collaboration with a full diversity of exhibition venue partners. For more than 30 years, MOMENTA is an exceptional rendezvous in the city’s museums, galleries, and artist-run centres. Its activities include exhibitions, public events, educational programs, artistic and social collaborations, and more.

Territorial Acknowledgment

We, the curatorial team of MOMENTA 2021, come to Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal from vastly diverse geographies: Delhi, India; London, United Kingdom; Tkaronto / Toronto and Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat peoples; Galiano Island, Penelakut territory; Frankfurt, Germany; Tråante / Trondheim in Lullisápmi or South Sápmi, also known as mid-Norway; and Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal itself. 

Each of these places has its histories and is steeped in colonial pasts and presents as well as their ongoing reverberations. 

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 work to ensure ongoing accountability for work done on these lands and work to nurture and uphold anti-colonial frameworks.

We wish to acknowledge that the exhibitions of MOMENTA 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 Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron / Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg (Algonquin), and are now also the home of Indigenous peoples from across the globe who gather in beautiful ways. 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 and will do our best to dismantle colonial harm where possible.

This year’s biennale attends to nature, honouring land, water, and air and the myriad of relations they sustain. We are grateful to these custodians of the land, whose care continues to carry these relations; to the many Indigenous artists with whom we had conversations while developing the biennale; and to those who are generously sharing their works with us and our audiences in the exhibitions. 

The biennale holds the privilege of being able to work and present on these lands; we as curators hold this privilege accountable.

Stefanie Hessler
Camille Georgeson-Usher
Maude Johnson
Himali Singh Soin

Mission and Mandate

To have a sensitive and sensible impact on the world around us by means of images. We bring this intention to life by implementing unifying and structuring initiatives for art dissemination and education, thus encouraging reflection on and access to contemporary art.

Values

Relevance
We value artistic quality and intellectual rigor within our projects.

Audacity
We support innovation and reflection renewal in regards to today’s issues.

Sharing
We gather communities in a spirit of inclusion and synergy.

Respect
We are fair toward the artists, publics, partners, and members of our team

History

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image is a contemporary art event taking place in various venues in Montreal (Canada) every two years since 1989. Founded as Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, the organization was renamed MOMENTA Biennale de l’image in 2017.

The first Mois de la Photo à Montréal was organized by VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine in 1989 to mark the 150th anniversary of photography. Until 2002, the event was held under the responsibility of VOX. In September 2002, it became an autonomous corporation. This administration change was followed by the adoption of a new model of artistic direction. For every biennale, a curator is invited to propose a theme around which a series of exhibitions and many public activities are organized. A publication is produced to accompany the program. Between twenty and forty artists are selected and their works are presented in fifteen venues throughout the city of Montreal. On the occasion of its 15th edition in 2017, the organization wanted to update its identity and assert its biennale status, thus becoming MOMENTA Biennale de l’image.

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 the photograph, which constitutes the organization’s founding medium. It also brings out the event-based nature of the biennale by inscribing it within a broader temporality–the moments of images, of artworks, of events. Finally, it underlines the fact that the biennale, once centred essentially on the field of photography, now encompasses all image-based practices, in an era when they are being produced in different media, at various places, and in constant transformation.

Over the last nine editions, the biennale has presented more than 500 artists and 2,300 artworks, and attendance totalled 2 million. More than 100 partners join the biennale for each edition, and almost 200 actors from the cultural field participate in it. More precisely, the 2019 edition of MOMENTA reached 210,028 visitors, presented the work of 69 artists, and offered thirty activities of mediation and audience development.

Team

Executive Director
Audrey Genois

Curator 2023
Ji-Yoon Han

Assistant Artistic Director
Maude Johnson

Executive and Administrative Assistant
Ariel Rondeau

MOMENTA Website 
Design and Development
House9 Designhouse9design.ca

Board of directors

Chair
Lesley Johnstone
Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Education
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Vice-Chair
Élise Saint-Aubin
LL.B, Adm.A, Assistant Vice-President, Organizational Effectiveness
Business Development Bank of Canada

Treasurer
Sharka Hamet

Chief Operating Officer
Langlois Lawyers

Secretary
Mathieu Courchesne
Lawyer

Administrators

Bernard Asselin
Marketing, sales, and coaching consultant

Emmanuelle Léonard
Artist

Yann Pocreau
Artist

Nicolas Rubbo
Vice-President, Marketing, development and partnerships
La Ruche

Cheryl Sim
Curator and Executive Director
Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain

Mojeanne Sarah Behzadi
Art historian and independent curator

Contact

info@momentabiennale.com
+1.514.390.0383

Office
MOMENTA Biennale de l’image
5445 de Gaspé Avenue, #611
Montreal (Quebec) H2T 3B2
Canada

Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm