Aug, 10th

MOMENTA x Papier 2022

SAVOIR DEVENIR IMAGE. QUELLES STRATÉGIES DE VISIBILITÉ ET D’INVISIBILITÉ AUJOURD’HUI?

Panel moderated by Ji-Yoon Han, curator of MOMENTA 2023

With Jade Almeida and Nathalie Casemajor

Saturday, August 27, 12 p.m.
As part of the Papier Art Fair, Grand Quay in the Port of Montreal
(200 de la Commune W St)

In French only

In view of its 18th edition, which will take place in the fall of 2023, MOMENTA Biennale de l’image presents a first public conversation around the theme Masquerades: The Lure of Metamorphosis. Jade Almeida, researcher in sociology and history of culture, Nathalie Casemajor, professor-researcher specialized in digital culture, and Ji-Yoon Han, curator of MOMENTA 2023, discuss contemporary issues of visuality raised by, among other things, identity politics and the development of surveillance technologies.

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image is pleased to collaborate with Papier for its next edition which will take place from August 26 to 28, 2022 at the Grand Quay in the Port of Montreal. Created by the Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC) in 2007, Papier is the largest art fair in Québec. The event is a key driver for Canadian contemporary art, as well as a unique meeting ground for the greater public, enthusiasts and visual arts professionals alike.

MOMENTA 2023

Building upon a theme titled Masquerades: Drawn to Metamorphosis, curator Ji-Yoon Han will explore the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that shape representations of the self and the other from the metamorphic potentials of mimicry.

“We’ve all experienced that gap between who we think we are and how others perceive us. We’ve all felt the friction between the identity assigned to us and the one we construct for ourselves. We: that is, you and me—as well as others, human or not. Individuals are constantly recorded, formatted, fixed as same and identical, so here’s the urgent question: how do we (re)set in motion our understanding of identities and differences in the social space and in intimate experiences of otherness?”
– Ji-Yoon Han, curator of MOMENTA 2023

More information

Apr, 5th

Call for submissions from Canadian artists

Deadline: May 15, 2022
Theme: Masquerades: Drawn to Metamorphosis
Curator: Ji-Yoon Han

MASCARADES. L’ATTRAIT DE LA MÉTAMORPHOSE
The 2023 edition of MOMENTA Biennale de l’image will explore the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that shape representations of the self and the other, between mutation, exposure and concealment, separation and fusion. At the core of the curatorial proposal dwells the notion of mimicry. Looking into the image as an agent of metamorphosis, the theme calls for an exploration of theatricality and of the moving lines that today are redefining gestures of appropriation and disguise. Identities will also be addressed in relation to animal, plant, and technological mimicry. The biennale will foster a dialogue among artists whose works probe the functions of the image, between representation and metamorphosis, and seek to (re)set in motion our understanding of identities and differences in the social space and in intimate experiences of otherness.

TYPES OF WORKS BEING SOUGHT
We are looking for works by Canadian artists that explore the potential for mimicry and metamorphosis in identities (whether human or not). For the different exhibitions, we wish to investigate multiple perspectives including, but not limited to: mimicry (in its transversality), metamorphosis, masquerade, visibility processes, invisibilization, camouflage, alteration of the self, becoming image, and more.

We are interested in works that employ photographic and videographic languages, which may take diverse forms such as installations, three-dimensional works, or experience-based works. We will favour newly produced works or works that haven’t been exhibited in the province of Quebec and/or Montreal.

We are soliciting only artists’ works that respond to the theme Masquerades. We are not seeking curatorial proposals. This call for submissions is addressed only to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Submissions must be sent by email only (in English or French), by no later than May 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM, to: soumission2023@momentabiennale.com

All submissions in compliance with the instructions described herein and received by the deadline will be carefully reviewed by the curator and MOMENTA. Since we receive a very large number of proposals, MOMENTA will contact only the applicants whose file has been selected.

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its partners: Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal, Ville de Montréal, Gouvernement du Québec, and Government of Canada

Submission guidelines

Apr, 5th

Ji-Yoon Han appointed curator of MOMENTA 2023

Photo: Anthony Burnham

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image is delighted to announce the appointment of Ji-Yoon Han as curator for its 18th edition, which will take place in September and October 2023. Building upon a theme titled Masquerades: Drawn to Metamorphosis, curator Ji-Yoon Han will explore the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that shape representations of the self and the other from the metamorphic potentials of mimicry. The exhibitions, the publication, and the public programs will be organized around this theme.

MASQUERADES: DRAWN TO METAMORPHOSIS
By: Ji-Yoon Han

We’ve all experienced that gap between who we think we are and how others perceive us. We’ve all felt the friction between the identity assigned to us and the one we construct for ourselves. We: that is, you and me—as well as others, human or not. Starting from this premise, MOMENTA 2023 will explore the dynamics of visibility and invisibility that shape representations of the self and the other. Individuals are constantly recorded, formatted, fixed as same and identical, so here’s the urgent question: how do we (re)set in motion our understanding of identities and differences in the social space and in intimate experiences of otherness?

The notion of mimicry serves as the main driving force for developing the biennale. Mimicry designates the aptitude to “do as if”: to imitate (do the same), which involves first and foremost the capacity to transform (unmake) oneself by blurring the borders that define the edges of beings and things. Transversally, mimicry concerns human behaviour, the experience of all living things (animal and plant mimicry), and technological modelling (machine-learning mimicry). It situates us in the interstice between the self and the other, linking them and leading them to melt into one another. It is precisely the potential for metamorphoses inscribed in this interstice that MOMENTA 2023 wishes to embrace with the title Masquerades.

The image has a decisive role to play in these operations of mutation, of exposure and concealment, of separation and fusion. It is an ideal tool for seeing, experiencing, and testing perceptions of the self. The theme of mimicry thus calls for an exploration of theatricality and of the virtuality of the mask, whose performance is facilitated and stimulated by technical images. In this sense, the biennale will pay particular attention to the moving lines that today are redefining gestures of appropriation and disguise: how are identities played and outwitted? And who can possess light of the spectacle of identity?

Beyond its function of representation, the image is also an agent of mimetic metamorphosis. Doing like the other, taking oneself for another, or seeing oneself as another is to “become image.” In a reality that indeed seems to be devoured by images, mimicry takes on a unique significance, as borne out in camouflage strategies that have emerged to cope with generalized institutional and corporate surveillance. As a consequence of the demand for the right to invisibility and anonymity, the face—a fundamental aspect of identity—is erased, replaced, or even disfigured. Might this not also be the expression of a more ambiguous desire to “blend into the background”?

The disruption of perception, especially visual, is at the core of mimetic scenarios. Who is looking at whom in my encounter with a chameleon, a stranger, an artificial intelligence? What about the feelings of incongruity, immersion, sinking, and vertigo, or even intoxication, produced by mimicry? The biennale will foster a dialogue among artists whose works seize on these operators of ambiguity and of entangled gazes. The exhibitions will provide a fresh look at the issues involved with mimicry and the alteration of identities by exploring the functions of the image, between representation and metamorphosis. Beyond the instability of identity that is thus brought to light, might these intersubjective experiences lead us to reimagine our commonalities and what creates a sense of community?

CURATOR
Ji-Yoon Han lives and works in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal. In her often interdisciplinary curatorial projects, she seeks to reclaim the embeddedness and relevance of the visual arts in multilayered contexts that are themselves in transformation. Previously a curator at Fonderie Darling (2017–20), she organized exhibitions of works by Cynthia Girard-Renard, Barbara Steinman, Javier González Pesce, and Guillaume Adjutor Provost, as well as a performative cycle on listening and sound art practices. She has contributed to monographs on Geneviève Cadieux and Louise Robert. In her PhD dissertation, she investigated how images competed between 1929 and 1936, articulating photography, surrealism, and the nascent cultures of the illustrated press and advertising. She is currently a guest researcher for the Photography and Commission project, with the support of Les amis du Centre Pompidou, Paris.

MOMENTA 2023 will encourage conversations, encounters, and exchanges initiated by a selection of artists from all over the world, with particular focus on artists from Quebec and Canada. Produced in collaboration with numerous exhibition partners, many exhibitions will present the work of more than twenty artists in total. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a publication and an extended program of activities for the public.

Press release
Photo of the curator

Mar, 1st

MOMENTA x FIFA 2022

Still from the film Son of the Sun by Tanya Traboulsi

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image  is proud to join forces with the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) to present two film programs by Lebanon-born artist and curator Joyce Joumaa, given carte blanche as part of FIFA 2022 from March 15 to 27.

For the International Festival of Films on Art‘s 40th edition, Joyce Joumaa presents two film programs regarding the ways in which we create relations. Titled Warm Regards and Are you not coming?, each program offers a perspective, both foreign and familiar, on distance, the one and same that defined our daily lives during the pandemic.

Available throughout the festival, Joyce Joumaa’s carte blanche will be showcased online on ARTS.FILM, FIFA’s webcasting platform.

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image has been partners with the International Festival of Films on Art for the past four consecutive years. Presenting contemporary video art and art films is at the core of the biennale’s mission, as well as guiding and supporting emerging curators.

Sept, 23rd

ONLINE PERFORMANCE PROGRAM | Lara Kramer & James Oscar

Four artists and an art critic present performances responding to the theme of this edition, Sensing Nature, and explore speculative futures, ancestral memories, nondual realities, and healing practices.

Listen to Past / amongst / bones and seeds, a series of audio walking dialogues with the Oji-Cree / Mennonite artist and choreographer Lara Kramer, curated by the Black art critic James Oscar. Conversations will explore Kramer’s image-making and performative explorations spanning from her early photographic exploration of Portage la Prairie and Brandon Indian Residential School to her present billboard project In Blankets, Herds and Ghosts.

In Blankets, Herds and Ghosts by Lara Kramer is presented by Dazibao, in collaboration with MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), as part of Dazibao satellite.

Sept, 13th

Contest “An Exhibition Just for You !”

MOMENTA x DESJARDINS

In collaboration with Desjardins, MOMENTA will offer the winners of the contest a guided tour of the exhibition “Of the Land”, at Galerie de l’UQAM. Specially created for you, the tour will be facilitated by MOMENTA’s Executive Director, a member of the curatorial team, and artist Kama La Mackerel. With 5 persons of your choice, this is the occasion to learn more about the program of MOMENTA 2021, the artists’ works and their artistic process. Exclusive access with your friends, a drink and a MOMENTA 2021 catalogue per person will be offered. This tour will take place on Tuesday, October 5, and will last 1 hour and a half. Two tours are to be won, one at 5pm and the other at 6:45pm.

This contest is open at all times from September 13 to 24, 2021. The draw will be held on September 30.

For details to participate, click here.

Contest Rules

Jun, 17th

Mérignac Photo: Video portrait of Maryse Goudreau

The photography festival Mérignac Photo, located in Mérignac, France, presents in collaboration with MOMENTA the video portrait of Quebec artist Maryse Goudreau, in addition to the presentation of her movie « Tankonautes », at the Médiathèque Michel Sainte-Marie. The artist talks about her projects completed around the discovery of a World War II tank on her property, in Escuminac, Gaspésie.

Maryse Goudreau © Mathieu Bouchard-Malo

The discovery of this military vehicle resulted in artistic and participative creations, such as the “Festival du Tank d’Escuminac – première et dernière édition”, and a honey harvest. “Tankonautes” was born from this harvest, and takes places around the immersion into two microcosms: the world of bees and the artist’s small town. We witness the transformation of a military vehicle into an engaging and dreamlike community project.

In this video portrait, the artist recalls the highlights of this ambitious and rallying project.

This video portrait was produced thanks to the support of the Délégation générale du Québec à Paris.

Maryse Goudreau is a multidisciplinary artist born in Campbellton, New-Brunswick, in 1980. She was always in Mi’kma’ki, traditional Lnu’k (Mi’kmaq) territory. She lives and works in Escuminac, Gaspésie.

Discover the full video on our YouTube channel.

May, 18th

MOMENTA 2021: Unveiling of the program

Quand la nature ressent
Sensing Nature

51 artists from 24 countries
September 8 to October 24, 2021
Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal

The 17th edition of the biennale will take place from September 8 to October 24, 2021 under the title Sensing Nature. An ambitious edition curated by Stefanie Hessler in collaboration with Camille Georgeson-Usher, Maude Johnson, and Himali Singh Soin, MOMENTA 2021 brings together 51 artists from 24 countries, their works are presented in 15 exhibitions including an Indigenous-led outdoor garden and an augmented reality circuit in the public space.

This edition of MOMENTA can be read in multiple ways. On the one hand, it assumes a human who is sensing nature, perhaps holding a blueberry picked in a forest, exposed to various modes of perception: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. On the other hand, it assumes nature sensing back. Our doings register like sunlight bleaching the colour of driftwood over time or imprinting itself on the retina of an exposed eye. In acknowledging this reciprocity, the biennale recognizes that we are in relation with nature, that we are of nature.

Thao Nguyen Phan, Becoming Alluvium, 2019, video still. Courtesy of the artist

ARTISTS AND EXHIBITION PARTNERS

NORTH SITE OF THE GRANDE BIBLIOTHÈQUE / BAnQ
T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss Skwxwú7mesh / Stó:lō / Hawaiian / Swiss, Canada
Silverbear Kanien’kehá:ka
Joce TwoCrows Mashkikii Bimosewin Tremblay Great Lakes métis

CENTRE CLARK
New Red Order:
Adam Khalil Ojibway, United States
Zack Khalil Ojibway, United States
Kite Oglála Lakȟóta, United States
Jackson Polys Tlingit, United States

DIAGONALE
Léuli Eshrāghi Sāmoa, Australia

PHI FOUNDATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
In collaboration with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Abbas Akhavan Iran / Canada

PHI FOUNDATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
Jamilah Sabur Jamaica / United States

FONDERIE DARLING
Charlotte Brathwaite United Kingdom / United States
Julien Creuzet France
Sandra Mujinga Democratic Republic of the Congo / Germany / Norway
Tabita Rezaire France / French Guiana
Jamilah Sabur Jamaica / United States
Tejal Shah India

GALERIE B-312
Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau Canada

GALERIE DE L’UQAM
Carolina Caycedo United Kingdom / United States
Taloi Havini Nakas Tribe Hakö, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea / Australia
Tsēmā Igharas Tāłtān, Canada
Erin Siddall Canada
Kama La Mackerel Mauritius / Canada
Miriam Simun United States / Portugal
Eve Tagny Canada

LEONARD & BINA ELLEN ART GALLERY
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz Porto Rico

MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
Anne Duk Hee Jordan Korea / Germany

McCORD MUSEUM
Caroline Monnet Anishinaabe / French, Canada
Laura Ortman White Mountain Apache, Arizona, United States

OCCURRENCE
Candice Lin United States
P. Staff United Kingdom / United States
Thao Nguyen Phan Vietnam

OPTICA
BUSH Gallery:
Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill Metis
Peter Morin Tāłtān
Tania Willard Secwépemc

VOX, CENTRE DE L’IMAGE CONTEMPORAINE
Jen Bervin United States
Carolina Caycedo United Kingdom / United States
Maryse Goudreau Canada
Ayesha Hameed Canada / United Kingdom
Hamedine Kane Mauritania / Belgium and Senegal
Tsēmā Igharas Tāłtān, Canada
Erin Siddall Canada
Susanne M. Winterling Germany / Germany and Norway

MOMENTA IN AUGMENTED REALITY
Frances Adair Mckenzie Canada
alaska B Canada
Scott Benesiinaabandan Anishinaabe, Canada
Anna Binta Diallo Senegal / Canada
Maryse Goudreau Canada
Tsēmā Igharas Tāłtān, Canada
Lisa Jackson Anishinaabe / Aamjiwnaang, Canada
Kama La Mackerel Mauritius / Canada
Malik McKoy Canada
Alex McLeod Canada
Sabrina Ratté Canada

PERFORMANCE PROGRAM
Léuli Eshrāghi Sāmoa, Australia
Kama La Mackerel Mauritius / Canada
Lara Kramer Oji-Cree / Mennonite, Canada
James Oscar d. Trinidad, b. Canada
Tejal Shah India

Léuli Eshrāghi, re(cul)naissance, 2020, installation view, Biennale of Sydney, 2020, Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney. Courtesy of the artist

PUBLICATON

As with each edition of the biennale, a publication accompanies the exhibitions. Co-edited with the prestigious German publishing house Kerber Verlag, it is offered in English and French. An overview of the biennale containing portfolios on each artist, the publication also includes essays and poetic texts written by Jen Bervin, Léuli Eshrāghi, Stefanie Hessler, Camille Georgeson-Usher, and Himali Singh Soin. The publication will be launched at the opening of the biennale on September 8, 2021.

GOVERNMENTAL AND INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS

Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal, Gouvernement du Québec, Government of Canada, Ville de Montréal, Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (Germany), Institut français, Consulat général de France à Québec, Office for Contemporary Art Norway

Apr, 27th

MOMENTA present the work of Maryse Goudreau and Meryl McMaster at Mérignac Photo, France

We are pleased to announce our first collaboration with Mérignac Photo, a photography festival organised by the city of Mérignac, France.

Mérignac Photo will taking place in Mérignac, a town in the Bordeaux Métropole of France, from April 30 to August 8, 2021.
This event will present some twenty French and international artists, including two Canadian artists, Meryl McMaster and Maryse Goudreau, presented in partnership with MOMENTA and with financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Délégation générale du Québec à Paris.

Emeline Dufrennoy, the guest curator for this edition of Mérignac Photo, offers an exploration of the theme Possible Worlds, which questions our relationship with time(s), the interdependence among past, present, and future, and the role of images in our comprehension of the world.

Maryse Goudreau, Tankonautes, 2021

Tankonautes is a video work drawn from a larger ensemble titled Tank Honey, which combines art and permaculture. Arising from Goudreau’s discovery of an incongruous object, a partially buried military vehicle, on her property, Tank Honey transformed her initial archaeological exploration, in which she sought to unearth and reconstruct an unknown past, into an event that brought people together, the “Festival du tank d’Escuminac – première et dernière édition”, in 2015, then to an impulse of revitalization. In 2016, she brought forth a rural dream rethought on a local scale and closer to the community: honey production.

Meryl McMaster, As Immense as the Sky, 2019

Influenced by her ancestry, both Indigenous and Western, Meryl McMaster finds herself at the crossroads of two visions of the world. As Immense as the Sky retraces her journeys along the paths and through the immemorial landscapes of the central and southern prairies and the early colonies on the shores of provinces in Atlantic Canada. To reconnect with those who, before her, trod these lands, McMaster undertakes to make their voices resonate. Having studied the history of the migrations and the social, cultural, and environmental encounters of her Indigenous and European ancestors, she reactivates their knowledge at the sites of these historical confrontations.

👉 More information about Mérignac Photo

Mar, 2nd

MOMENTA and the FIFA present “Sandlines, Story of History” by Francis Alÿs

We are thrilled to announce that for the third consecutive year, MOMENTA and the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) are partnering up to present Sandlines, the Story of History, the first feature film by artist Francis Alÿs for the 39th edition of the Festival held online March 16–28, 2021.

Sandlines, the Story of History, produced in collaboration with the Ruya Foundation, was produced between 2018 and 2020 near a Yezidi encampment in Iraq. Alÿs asked children in a mountain village, twenty kilometres from Mosul, to revisit a century of their history, from the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed in May 1916 to the reign of terror imposed by Daesh in 2016. The children were asked to act out, in their own way, a series of events.

This feature film is presented as a Canadian première, after its presentation at the Sundance Film Festival and the Festival du film international de Rotterdam, in 2020. Sandlines follows in the footsteps of a series of projects that Alÿs has produced with children all over the world. It especially echoes his Children’s Games exhibition presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal during MOMENTA 2019.

👉 More information about the film

👉 FIFA Online Ticketing

Oct, 31st

Discover our booth for Art Toronto!

💰 MOMENTA’s fundraiser for Canadian artists 💰

We were invited by Art Toronto to hold a virtual booth for the 2020 edition of the fair. We decided to use this opportunity to fulfill one of our mandates which is the representation of Canadian artists, by showcasing and selling works of artists who were part of MOMENTA 2017 or 2019, and who are not represented by galleries.

Through this initiative, MOMENTA aims to make a solidarity gesture towards artists in these precarious pandemic times ❤️.

🤝 Support Canadian artists by buying a work from our booth!

  • 65% of the fundraiser revenues will go to the artists
  • 35% of the fundraiser revenues will go to MOMENTA to finance the production of works by Canadian artists for MOMENTA 2021.

👉 Participating artists: Elisabeth Belliveau; Raphaëlle de Groot; Bridget Moser; Juan Ortiz-Apuy; Anne-Marie Proulx; Jamie Ross; Camille Turner.

Oct, 28th

Release of MOMENTA’s second educational video game!

An educational video game on contemporary art

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image is proud to announce that its second educational video game, Enki and the Gallery of Mysteries, is now online. Intended for children 6 to 8 years old, the game is the result of a collaboration between MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image and Dpt., a studio specializing in interactive experiences. The first game, The Gallery of Mysteries (2018), for children 9 to 12 years old, has been played by more than 13,000 people since it was put online.

PLAY NOW!

Synopsis

Many stories are told about the Gallery of Mysteries. Some people say that it whispers, and others claim that it moves around in the forest when night falls. In reality, you are about to discover one of its greatest secrets … As you pass by, you wake up Enki! This strange spirit watches over a collection of portraits, but one of the artworks has disappeared. Enki needs you to help complete the collection. Explore the gallery, solve Enki’s challenges, and maybe you’ll be able to lay your hands on the missing artwork!

When they embark on this adventure, children come into contact with works by artists Annie Baillargeon, Patrick Bernatchez, Claudie Gagnon, Adad Hannah, Hua Jin, Moridja Kitenge Banza, JJ Levine, Marisa Portolese, Skawennati, and Jonas St. Michael.

Trailer:

Pedagogical objectives

This interactive experience was designed to introduce children in cycle one of elementary school to works by Québec artists. The pedagogical objectives of the game are:

  • development of a sense of observation;
  • introduction to analysis of images;
  • stimulation of imagination through digital creativity;
  • initiation to reading.

Offered free of charge in English and French, the game is a wonderful parent-child activity or a stimulating art-appreciation activity in a classroom context. A pedagogical guide has also been designed to encourage students to reflect on the works displayed in the game, which features the theme of the portrait.

Sept, 15th

Camille Georgeson-Usher and Himali Singh Soin join MOMENTA’s 2021 curatorial team

MOMENTA Biennale de l’image is delighted to announce that Camille Georgeson-Usher and Himali Singh Soin will join guest curator Stefanie Hessler and MOMENTA’s curatorial assistant Maude Johnson to form the curatorial team for its 17th edition, which will take place in September and October 2021.

Together, the curatorial team will share their expertise to develop the artistic program around the theme Sensing Nature/Quand la nature ressent. MOMENTA chose to initiate this formula that puts the collective before the individual in order to integrate and recount diverse perspectives and experiences.

Camille Georgeson-Usher

This year we have been tested in so many ways we were not prepared for. At a time of so much uncertainty we have talked about care, intimacy, truth, and relationalities with each other, with the lands we walk across, and with plant and animal communities that we share this world with. We have talked about how small we are as humans within the universe and how to leave less traces of ourselves. Sensing Nature to me, presents an opportunity to intermix ourselves into a world that doesn’t exist yet and to let it wash over us; a future world that folds us into a tender imaginary.

Camille Georgeson-Usher is a Coast Salish / Sahtu Dene / Scottish scholar, artist, and arts administrator from Galiano Island, BC, which is the land of the Pune’laxutth’ (Penelakut) Nation. She is a PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies department at Queen’s University where she is writing on ontologies of gathering and how protocols from different nations intersect in urban centres. She is interested in looking at the many ways in which peoples move together in urban space, relationalities and intimacies with the everyday, and acts of mark making through the example of public art practices as types of gathering from an Indigenous perspective.

Himali Singh Soin

This time feels like the earth, normally tilted on its axis, is losing its balance. It feels light because the extraneous stuff of our lives has suddenly shed; it feels heavy with the weight of our collective pain. It feels like parts of us are healing while other, interconnected meridians, are ill. I say it “feels like” because it has maybe brought us closer to an embodied way of knowing and being, of sensing. MOMENTA will, we hope, exude this energy of listening to ourselves and therefore to the other, and provoke gestures towards small kindnesses, local community building, and transnational planetary thinking.

Himali Singh Soin is a writer and artist based between London and Delhi. She uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies of interferences, entanglements, deep voids, debris, leakages, alienation, distance and intimacy. In doing this, she thinks through ecological loss, and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the healing power of performance and the radicality of love. Her speculations are performed in audio-visual, immersive environments. Soin’s art has been shown at Khoj (Delhi), Somerset House, Mimosa House, and Serpentine Gallery (London), Gropius Bau and the HKW (Berlin), Migros Museum of Contemporary Art (Zurich), Anchorage Museum (Alaska) and will be presented in the next Shanghai Biennale. Soin is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, and was the recipient of the Frieze Artist Award last year.

Sensing Nature

The 2021 edition of MOMENTA Biennale de l’image, titled Sensing Nature, proposes nature as a maker of images representing itself. Today, many depictions of nature are testimonials and elegies to the loss of biodiversity, the climate, and the myth of progress. They provide messy evidence of anthropogenic climate change, devotedly supported by capitalism and colonialism. Images are important in communicating this moment of planetary urgency. At the same time, images of presuppose the possibility of defining and speaking on behalf of an Other constructed as passive—be that nature, womxn, indigenous peoples, people of colour, queer communities, among others. To retire such narratives and conjure alternatives in art and beyond, different imaginaries are urgently needed.

MOMENTA 2021 will be attuned to the time of geology, the textures of a coral, the perspective of a swallow, in order to fathom different futures. The exhibitions will probe the image as something more-than-visual, be it sound, taste, or smell. In doing so, the biennale hopes to calibrate visitors’ senses to the possibilities granted by speculative fictions in nature and through art. Sensing Nature longs for responsivity with planetary ecologies not as something to be represented, but as something that we are part of and “become with.”

Jun, 26th

LEFIFA.COM: New platform for cultural content

After presenting the rich program, Spotlight on Iranian Art Films, at its 38th edition last March, the International Festival of Films on Art continues its exploration of Iranian arts and art films on a new web platform, in partnership with MOMENTA. This new initiative, supported by the Conseil des arts de Montréal, was entrusted to director and curator Leila Khalilzadeh, a Montreal-based Iranian filmmaker who has directed, written, and produced short fiction, animation, and documentary films. Through a newly-curated selection of films accessible on LeFIFA.com, Leila Khalilzadeh invites us to discover the experiences of pioneers of Iranian film and new generations alike, whose work is unrestricted to any one cinematic convention or mainstream style. Several different genres are presented: cinema, documentaries, as well as animated and experimental short films, which makes for an exceptionally rich and diverse program.

Building on the success of its recent initiative, suggesting a selection of enriching and fun cultural activities to enjoy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA has decided to launch LeFIFA.com in order to allow this sharing with the art-loving community to extend beyond the current period of confinement. Available online as of this week, this bilingual microsite resembles a sleekly designed webzine. Alongside the artfifa.com website, it aims to share content specifically created or commissioned by FIFA.

The content of this platform will be enriched each week with news, projects and artistic meetings initiated or selected by FIFA.

👉 Access the webzine

Film still from Gabbeh by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Apr, 27th

Capture Photography Festival: “Art in the Age of Social Distancing” webinar

MOMENTA is proud to partner up with Capture Photography Festival and Canadian Art to present a talk in the form of a webinar by curator Cliff Lauson, on Thursday April 30 from 12pm to 1pm (PT) and from 3pm to 4pm (EDT)

In this illustrated talk, curator Cliff Lauson discusses the complex relationship between lens-based image culture and the ‘experience economy’. Recently, most countries around the world closed their borders and imposed lockdowns in response to the global pandemic. Cliff reflects on the condition of electronic mediation and the current extreme turn. For the time being, art and exhibitions can only be experienced through our devices and screens, testing the limits of our virtual sensibilities.

Dr. Cliff Lauson is Senior Curator at the Hayward Gallery, London, where he has organized major exhibitions including: Bridget Riley, Martin Creed, Ernesto Neto, Tracey Emin, Light Show and Space Shifters. He currently serves on the British Council Collection Acquisitions Advisory Committee, the Open Space Advisory Board, and is a trustee of Film and Video Umbrella. Lauson is also a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a qualified coach.

👉 More information and registration

Image: Selfie via Nam June Paik’s Three Camera Participation, 1969.

Apr, 2nd

Stefanie Hessler is appointed curator for MOMENTA 2021

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image is delighted to announce the appointment of Stefanie Hessler as curator for its 17th edition, which will take place in September and October 2021. Drawing on a theme titled Sensing Nature, curator Stefanie Hessler will explore earth systems as narrators of their own logic. The exhibitions, the publication, and all of the activities for the public will be organized around this theme.

Theme

The 2021 edition of MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, titled Sensing Nature, is informed by a desire to unsettle the divide between nature and its representation. The exhibitions will be guided by the works of artists deeply invested in decolonizing strategies and examining queer ecologies to reimagine environmental politics and notions of the natural. MOMENTA 2021 will work towards decentring the often-foregrounded Western human creator of knowledge about the natural world to make room for stories that dwell in the blurred boundaries between culture and nature, weaving in different forms of knowing, both human and nonhuman. Audacious and hopeful, these “other” stories propose a shift in perception toward the sensibility of earth systems as narrators of their own logic. In turning toward nature’s own enunciations, the biennale explores new, caring sensitivities.

The upcoming edition of MOMENTA proposes nature as a maker of images representing itself. Today, many depictions of nature are testimonials and elegies to the loss of biodiversity, the climate, and the myth of progress. They provide messy evidence of anthropogenic climate change introduced and sustained by capitalism and colonialism. Images are important in communicating this moment of planetary urgency. At the same time, images of presuppose the possibility of defining and speaking on behalf of an Other constructed as passive—be that nature, womxn, indigenous peoples, people of colour, queer communities, among others. To retire such narratives and conjure alternatives in art and beyond, different imaginaries are urgently needed.

When an image is extracted from the natural world, it is detached from its ecological, cultural, and spiritual entanglements. Aided by technologies of visibility, it becomes decontextualized and is often mobilized for political and economic interests. It tells certain stories, while the voices of indigenous peoples, people of colour, queer communities, and others often go unheard. Some images fade overnight, while others linger for years to shape perceptions. Similarly, water retains chemical spills for decades and radioactivity for millennia. Yet, exhausted soil can also regenerate. Like film registering light, nature is a matter through which stories are recorded and from which they emerge.

The artists in the biennale will trace and sense muddled worlds. They will be attuned to the time of geology, the textures of a coral, the perspective of a swallow, in order to fathom different futures. The exhibitions will probe the image as something more-than-visual, be it sound, taste, or smell. In doing so, the biennale hopes to calibrate visitors’ senses to the possibilities granted by speculative fictions in nature and through art. Sensing Nature longs for responsivity with planetary ecologies not as something to be represented, but as something that we are part of and “become with.”(1)

(1) This idea, elaborated by philosopher Gilles Deleuze and biologist Lynn Margulis, among others, proposes that identities are not fixed but constantly in the process of becoming. As such, we are not just becoming by ourselves, isolated; rather, we become with others, human and nonhuman beings.

About the curator

Stefanie Hessler (Germany) is a curator, writer, and editor. Her work focuses on interdisciplinary systems from an intersectional feminist perspective, with a focus on the ocean and other ecologies. Hessler is the director of Kunsthall Trondheim in Norway. Her recent curatorial projects include the exhibition “Joan Jonas: Moving Off the Land II” at the Museo Thyssen in Madrid (2020); the 6th Athens Biennale (2018); and the symposium “Practices of Attention” at the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo (2018). Between 2017–2019, she was a guest professor in art theory at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. Her book Prospecting Ocean was published by The MIT Press in 2019.

MOMENTA 2021 will encourage conversations, encounters, and exchanges initiated by a selection of artists from all over the world, with particular focus on artists from Quebec and Canada. Produced in collaboration with numerous exhibition partners, a thematic exhibition and many solo exhibitions will present the work of more than thirty artists in total. The exhibitions will be accompanied by a publication and an extended program of activities for the public.

Photo: Brittany Nelson

Apr, 1st

Call for submissions from Canadian artists

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image launches its call for submissions from Canadian artists for its upcoming edition, which will take place in September and October 2021. Drawing on the theme Sensing Nature, proposed by curator Stefanie Hessler, the biennale’s 17th edition will present a wealth of exhibitions featuring the work of more than thirty artists from the local and national scenes as well as from elsewhere in the world.

Theme

The 2021 edition of MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, titled Sensing Nature, is informed by a desire to unsettle the divide between nature and its representation. The exhibitions will be guided by the works of artists deeply invested in decolonizing strategies and examining queer ecologies to reimagine environmental politics and notions of the natural. MOMENTA 2021 will work towards decentring the often-foregrounded Western human creator of knowledge about the natural world to make room for stories that dwell in the blurred boundaries between culture and nature, weaving in different forms of knowing, both human and nonhuman. Audacious and hopeful, these “other” stories propose a shift in perception toward the sensibility of earth systems as narrators of their own logic. In turning toward nature’s own enunciations, the biennale explores new, caring sensitivities.

Submission guidelines

We are soliciting only artists’ works that respond to the theme Sensing Nature. We are not seeking curatorial proposals. This call for submissions is addressed only to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Type of work being sought

We are looking for works by Canadian artists that explore the idea of nature representing itself and/or the various relationships between human beings and nature and that demonstrate their complexity. For the different exhibitions, we want to investigate a multiplicity of perspectives including, but not limited to, these types of perspectives: environmental crisis, decolonization, queer ecologies, ecofeminism, science-fiction, non-Western cosmologies, practices of care.

We are interested in works that employ photographic and videographic languages, which may take diverse forms such as installations, three-dimensional works, or experience-based works. We will favour newly produced works or works that haven’t been exhibited in the province of Québec and/or Montréal.

Submission instructions

Submissions must be sent by email only (in English or French), by no later than May 24 at 11:59 PM, to: soumission2021@momentabiennale.com

Submissions should include the following:

1. A short cover letter explaining how the submission relates to the theme (250 words maximum) in Word or PDF format.

2. An artist statement (100 words maximum) in Word or PDF format.

3. Visual supporting material, which may include:

– a maximum of 10 images (maximum 500 kb per image) in JPG (72 dpi, RGB colour mode) or PDF format. Images must be clearly identified and accompanied by a descriptive image spec sheet (title, date, medium, and dimensions).

– a link to your web page or other website featuring your work (if available). Do not send videos by email; instead, please provide a link in order to view your video(s) online.

4. A short CV (3 pages maximum) in Word or PDF format.

5. Your contact information (first and last name, mailing address, telephone, email address, website, country of birth, and country of residence). Artists submitting as a collective are asked to identify one participant as the project coordinator, and provide that person’s contact information.

Please note:

All submissions in compliance with the instructions described herein and received by the deadline will be carefully reviewed by the curator and MOMENTA. Since we receive a very large number of proposals, MOMENTA will contact only the applicants whose file has been selected.

All submissions must be sent by email only: any other unsolicited material sent to our offices will be neither viewed nor returned. MOMENTA and Stefanie Hessler are not responsible for unreadable, undelivered, or lost materials. Late submissions, incomplete proposals, and work unrelated to the theme will not be considered.

If you have any questions, please contact: soumission2021@momentabiennale.com

Download submission guidelines

Mar, 29th

An overview of the 2019 edition

Titled The Life of Things, the 16th edition of MOMENTA was held from September 5 to October 13, 2019. The official art program has gathered 39 artists from 20 countries, in 12 exhibitions and 1 public space tour, which was accompanied by a substantial educative program. With more than a hundred partners and 200 cultural workers for the 2019 edition, MOMENTA participates greatly in the cultural ecosystem, in order to highlight Canadian expertise on the international scene. Thanks to the extent and quality of the contribution of these partners, MOMENTA 2019 has been a success, collecting positive feedback from all sides.

MOMENTA 2019 gathered:

  • 39 artists from 20 countries
  • 12 exhibitions
  • 1 public space tour
  • 10 educational activities
  • 40 activities and events
  • 201,028 exhibition visits
  • 11,595 participants to educational activities