‘MOMENTA’ PHOTO EXHIBIT
Reflections on MOMENTA’S “Bienniale de l’image”
MOMENTA presents ‘ Biennale de l’ image,’ a meditation on the art of photography and film cur ated by A mi Bar ak. The exhibit aims to support “Canadian art - ists by bringing to light the relevance, diversity, and quality of their work, and by presenting it within an international context .” Ultimately, it asks its visitors , “What does the image stand for?”
The exhibit seemed to de construct the deceptive preconception many have surrounding the authenticity of an image by questioning its meaning. Perhaps the answer lies in the apparent paradox that floats around the authenticity of a photograph. How will a person apply their knowledge to an image in or der to align its meanings to their beliefs? This seems to be the “tension between ‘ the said’ and ‘ the unsaid’” that the exhibit’ s curator, A mi Bar ak, intimates. The unsaid seems to be the subtleties of an image Photographs plainly depict distorted colors and the image itself, but do we hear the sounds in the atmosphere and the thoughts of the people within these imag - es? B arak touched upon this in her introduction to the exhibit, saying, “These artists inter cede between the state of things and their possible interpretations. They ar e the ‘ whistleblowers .” They prefer to trans figure reality into art rather than simply replicate.
These whistleblowers ar e determined to produce a tangible differentiation between art and reality by using allegories as intermediaries . Their images speak of the world in different ways, but still manage to sidestep strict depictions of “the real ,” thereby creative ly communicating their beliefs. A creative element might trans figure and translate one’ s‘ unsaid’ experiences for another while serving asa‘ whistle ,’ or a call for attention. Furthermore, these artists, as put by Bar ak, seem to‘ prefer transfiguration to replication .’ A couple of the e xhibit’s key pieces invoked the following motifs: the different sensational and mental experiences of perspective and seeing the past as a ghost.
One moving image explores different sensations and mental experiences surrounding scope and perspective by stimulat - in go ur sense of sound, proportions, and movement. Switching between shots of a shadow and a murmuring sound, film appear ed to be rolled in the background, followed by asp ed-up view of it that seemed like a blur. The moving image took us between the different perspective soft he piece of film. In doing so , it challenges the viewer to distinguish between proportions by measur - ing and comparing against the flash of lost memory . The artist seems to ask the viewer to blur the still images that connect the jumps in time that we cannot physically see, while registering empirical measurements of space.
This mysterious ‘ in between ’ seems to be explored in ghostlike re collections. One image in particular seems to encapsulate the intense pride and emotion of empowerment. It is a closeup of Martin Luther King at the Lincoln Memorial with his finger pointed forward, making a cogent point. A vignette on the photo’s corners back drops the image, centering King. The photo is printed in black and white , recalling a time before color saturated images, recalling a less vivid but still painful past. The power - ful image stands out as a moment of clarity in a fascinating photo exhibit.
Running from September 7 until October 15 , the MOMENT A | Biennale will be featured at the VOX and U QAM campus along - side some independent galleries throughout Montreal.
The exhibit aims to support Canadian artists by bringing to light the relevance, diversity, and quality of their work, and by presenting it in an international context. Ami Barak Curator
A still from the moving image and MLK.