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  • Zanele Muholi, «Somnyama IV, Oslo, 2015», de la série «Somnyama Ngonyama», 2015, épreuve numérique, 100 x 83 cm. Avec l’aimable autorisation de la Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town, Johannesburg) et de la Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York).
    Zanele Muholi, «Somnyama IV, Oslo, 2015», de la série «Somnyama Ngonyama», 2015, épreuve numérique, 100 x 83 cm. Avec l’aimable autorisation de la Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town, Johannesburg) et de la Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York).

Montreal, August 8, 2017 – MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image (formerly Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal) presents, in collaboration with Centre CLARK, Zanele Muholi – Selected Portraits. 

Zanele Muholi (South Africa) takes inspiration from her own experience to defend and unveil the visual history of the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed) community. Her portraits and self-portraits from the series Miss D’vine (2007), Of Love and Loss (2013), Somnyama Ngonyama (2014–current), and Faces and Phases (2006–current) are characterized by a frank and direct gaze. Their powerful impact can be attributed to the total confidence expressed in her images and the nuanced treatment of the themes. Whether she photographs the performer Miss D’vine posing in fantasy costumes that upend conventional notion of gender, or archives the present lived experience of black lesbians and transgender people from South Africa and elsewhere, the artist challenges racism and reverses stereotypes of how the black body has been represented in history.

Zanele Muholi (1972–) is a visual activist and photographer born in Umlazi, Durban, and living in Johannesburg. She co-founded the Forum for Empowerment of Women (FEW) in 2002, and in 2009 founded Inkanyiso, a forum for queer and visual (activist) media. Muholi’s self-proclaimed mission is “to re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world to know of our resistance and existence at the height of hate crimes in SA and beyond.” She has had solo exhibitions including at the Mead Art Museum (Amherst), Gallatin Galleries (New York), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), and the Brooklyn Museum (New York). Recent group shows include Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris, 2017) and Personae at the FotoFocus Biennial, held at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, 2016). Awards include the ICP Infinity Award for Documentary and Photojournalism (2016). She is represented by the Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town, Johannesburg) and the Yancey Richardson Gallery (New York).

The exhibition has been realised in collaboration with Centre CLARK.

For its 15th edition, MOMENTA has joined forces with curator Ami Barak, who has developed an outstanding program on the theme What Does the Image Stand For? The 2017 edition of MOMENTA explores the concept of photographic and videographic evidence for the prosecution, whether images are still or in motion, raising the question of images as avatars, and focusing on the fantastical and sublimated aspects of the reality that they convey. The 38 artists in this biennale invite us not to accept their testimony uncritically. The biennale comprises three segments. The first, which corresponds to the central exhibition at our headquarters, focuses on the work of 23 artists and is being presented at two sites: Galerie de l’UQAM and VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine. The second consists of 14 solo exhibitions spread throughout the city. And the third is an exhibition of documents located at Artexte.

MOMENTA is also a vast program of public activities, talks, projections, and encounters, as well as many opportunities to meet the artists and see their works. The biennale would be incomplete without its catalogue, co-produced with the prestigious publishing house Kerber Verlag, which brings together texts by the curator and five authors who address the question What Does the Image Stand For?

Creative MOMENTA
The educational program offers individuals, families, and groups an opportunity to discover the artists’ works. The workshop Stories of Identity, in collaboration with Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique, is based on Zanele Muholi’s work and explores the history of the recognition of the rights of sexual minorities. The workshop takes place on September 27 at 5pm at Centre CLARK. Centre CLARK and Mordecai-Richler Library join forces to offer Story Time, a free activity combining stories and games, for kids 5 to 9 years old, to discover Zanele Muholi’s work. The workshop takes place on October 7 at 2pm at Centre CLARK.

Mix and Match Tour
A Mix and Match Tour combining a guided tour of the exhibitions at Centre CLARK and Optica takes place on September 23 at 12:30pm.

So you won’t miss anything in the 2017 edition, a detailed program is available for free at all of our exhibition partners and on momentabiennale.com.

Providing access to all biennale activities, MOMENTA Passports are available at La Vitrine box office (online: lavitrine.com).

For nearly 30 years, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal has been offering a stimulating framework within which to study current practices, evolutions, and issues associated with the still and moving image in Western culture, and to take the pulse of trends in contemporary image making. Renamed MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image in 2017, the organization plays a crucial role in the local, national, and international ecology of the visual arts community. Through its curatorial approach, renowned guest curators develop rigorous artistic programming based on relevant themes; the biennale enjoys a well-established reputation in its city and country, as well as abroad. It actively contributes to the recognition of Canadian artists – who comprise more than 50% of the artists in each edition – by presenting their work within an international context, in association with 15 exhibition partners. In 7 editions, the organization has exhibited more than 2,000 works by 400 artists, and welcomed almost 22 million visitors. 

Room 1
  • Zanele Muholi
Zanele Muholi – Selected Portraits

SEPT. 8 TO OCT 14, 2017


by Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique /
WEDNESDAY, Septembre 27, 5PM