MOMENTA 2019. Listening to Things – Charles Guilbert

[Summer 2020]

By Charles Guilbert

For the second edition of MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image1 (it had fourteen editions under its previous name, Le Mois de la photo), co-curators María Wills Londoño, Audrey Genois, and Maude Johnson chose an evocative and seemingly paradoxical title: The Life of Things. It was a title that might bring to mind philosophical currents such as speculative realism (also called object-oriented ontology), which challenges the anthropocentric definition of reality. Although certain virulent critics of this current of thought deem it not realism but idealism, numerous artists over the centuries have conjured the idea of a two-way relationship with things and the need for people to listen to them. Like any title, the one for this biennale thus opens a horizon of expectations for spectators, who obviously want to see how those four little words resonate in the works.

It is impossible here to provide an exhaustive review of MOMENTA, a huge and highly professional event: there were too many works presented (more than 150, by thirty-eight artists, in thirteen venues, plus an impressive catalogue)! Instead, I focus on the main angles of approach taken by the artists.

See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 115 – THE MARCH OF THE WORLD


1 MOMENTA Biennale de l’image 2019, The Life of Things/La vie des choses, Montréal, September 5–October 13, 2019.