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Montréal 2011: –Mois de la Photo


The 12th festival of Montreal’s Mois de la Photo opens this Thursday, a non-profit biennial of contemporary photography. Twenty-five artists will be exhibiting their work in fourteen places in the Canadian metropolis.

During this period when photojournalism takes to the fore again, the Montreal contemporary festival is an illustration that photography is most definitely multi-disciplinary. Here, no guns, no devastated cities, no shattered looks. The theme of this 12th photo month–lucidity, inward views—aims at shedding light on the work of twenty-five photographers who have explored man’s inner conflicts, in contrast to those which he provokes himself.

Their images offer a personal viewpoint on the illusion of identity, fear, death, anger, doubt; treating themes of acceptation, compassion, creativity and freedom of action. Some photographers are established, others still are working on their internet sites. Anne-Marie Ninacs, guest curator of the festival, has written in presentation, “If it’s important to call upon the artist to support us in this very personal task, it’s because the artist is by profession, as Milan Kundera says, an ‘explorer of existence.’ His art is a ‘land where moral judgment is suspended’, a land ‘where knowledge is the only morality’ and where all the zones of shadow should therefore be minutely observed, appreciated, embraced, since, among other things, that is what lucidity means: to see clearly in the darkness.”

And so from this September 8 to October 9, fourteen rooms at the foot of Mont Royal displaying personal and diverse exhibitions will welcome visitors who can also participate in a number of activities associated to the month of the photo. In particular the educational program provides the opportunity to become familiar with contemporary photography and its closely related practices such as perception of self and of the world. Each workshop can be taken alone, as a family or as a group. A reading room also provides access to a large selection of documentation and an extensive range of publications put out by the festival staff. Here one can learn more about the artists, about this year’s theme and about contemporary photography. An almost inevitable step if one wishes to appreciate the true worth of the works.

Jonas Cuénin

Friday, September 8th : Event launch

It is the opening of the 12th edition of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal and for the book launch of Lucidity. Inward Views. Grab the opportunity to visit the 10 exhibitions featured at the Arsenal (Roger Ballen, Jack Burman, Gemmiform, Marco Godinho, Douglas Gordon, Rinko Kawauchi, Corine Lemieux, Yann Pocreau, Normand Rajotte and Augustin Rebetez) presented in a brand new space devoted to contemporary art. Rub elbows with artists, gallery owners, curators and art professionals while enjoying a cocktail. See the performance by Gemmiform, a multidisciplinary collective, whose emerging practice of boldly blending of digital and analog sound and image, creates a poetic and organic experience.

Sunday, September 11th: “Meet the artists” Brunch

Attend a visit and discussion hosted by guest curator Anne-Marie Ninacs, with participation of 17 Canadian and foreign artists: Alfonso Arzapalo, Roger Ballen, Jack Burman, Gemmiform, Marco Godinho, Massimo Guerrera, Luis Jacob, Rinko Kawauchi, Corine Lemieux, Cristina Nuñez, Yann Pocreau, Normand Rajotte, Claire Savoie, Augustin Rebetez, Jim Verburg, and Lisa Steele + Kim Tomczak. Coffee and pastries will be served.

Educational Program

Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal 2011 is an opportunity to highlight how photography and related contemporary art practices can influence how we understand ourselves and perceive the world in which we live. Our educational activities will concentrate on the 10 exhibitions by local and foreign photography and new media artists that are presented at the Arsenal as well as installations in several nearby public spaces. These activities are designed to offer visitors the options of exploring the exhibitions either independently, as a family, or as a group. In addition, the reading room at Arsenal provides a rich array of documentation about the artists, texts related to the curatorial theme, as well as a selection of publications from Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal.

Friday, September 30th: Colloquium: Lucidity

As a complement to the exhibition program, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal presents the international colloquium Lucidity? This international-scale gathering will bring together art historians, philosophers, artists and exhibition curators, whose reflection will start from a proposition of lucidity as the bringing to light of facts that are hiding from thought.

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