FotoFocus Patrons enjoy many photo and lens-based art events during their 2-year membership. This September, a group of sixteen traveled from Cincinnati to Montreal, Quebec, to visit the Momenta Biennale de l’image. Shortly after their return to Cincinnati, they also visited the Louisville Photography Biennial in a full one-day adventure, truly making September a month to remember.
FotoFocus Patrons enjoy many photo and lens-based art events during their 2-year membership. In the first year of the Patron cycle, they experience FotoFocus Biennial gallery talks, panel discussions, early previews of exhibitions, exclusive Patron receptions, and of course invitations to dozens of photography projects around the city. In a non-Biennial year, FotoFocus provides the opportunity for Patrons and team members to experience photographic programming in a different city. This September, a group of sixteen traveled from Cincinnati to Montreal, Quebec, to visit the Momenta Biennale de l’image. Within a three-day timeframe, the group visited 12 of the 16 participating venues for gallery visits, artist talks, and behind-scenes-tours. Shortly after their return to Cincinnati, they also visited the Louisville Photography Biennial in a full one-day adventure, truly making September a month to remember.
Momenta Biennale de l’image
The first day of the Momenta itinerary started off strong at the McCord Stewart Museum. They were greeted by McCord Stewart Photography Curator, Zoë Tousignant, who gave an introduction to the museum, the Momenta exhibition by Seamus Gallagher entitled Mother Memory Cellophane. Tousignant then gave a special behind-the-scenes presentation of selections from their historical photo archives, which houses over 2 million items, including up-close viewings of rare daguerreotypes, tintypes, and early composite photographs available to view. In an interesting Cincinnati connection, there was also a photographic portrait of Robert S. Duncanson, by Canada’s first nationally recognized photographer, William Notman. Duncanson famously painted the murals in Cincinnati’s Taft Museum of Art. Another stand-out experience was the visit to VOX centre de l’image contemporaine. Marianne Nicolson gave an emotional and passionate gallery talk surrounded by her work in Ta̱wi’stalisa̱la (To Walk Around the World): Reclaiming the Intangible, to a captivated crowd.
The final Momenta stops on Day 2 included the joyful singing portraits of Michele Pearson Clarke at Galerie B-312 and the futuristic videos by Hito Steyerl at the Musee d’art contemporain. While not included in the Momenta Biennial, the FotoFocus group couldn’t pass up a visit to the Canadian Center for Architecture for their final tour. They toured the exhibition The Lives of Documents—Photography as Project, which included works from photographers such as Lynne Cohen, Sol LeWitt, Ari Marcopoulos, and Marianne Wex. The group departed from Montreal after a celebratory French dinner, and knew they’d see many of the same faces just two weeks later for the trip to the Louisville Photography Biennial (LPB).
Louisville Photography Biennial
As many of the FotoFocus bus trips start, it was an early day when they departed for Louisville. The bus was packed with road snacks (shout out to Hen of the Woods, Maverick Chocolate, and The Rhined) and the Patrons spent the trip studying up on the LPB program or just catching up with their FotoFocus friends. Once in Louisville, the schedule officially started like all good schedules do, with delicious food at Bar Vetti, where the group was met by many friendly Louisville faces including LPB Director Paul Paletti, LPB artist Jon Cherry, and LPB Keynote Speaker Lawrence Schiller. We later visited the Paul Paletti gallery and viewed the works of Lawrence Schiller, and many would recognize his famous photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, and Muhammed Ali to name a few. After 6 LPB tours that day, Patrons heard from Mr. Schiller again during the Keynote Address at the Speed Museum of Art.
It was a unique perspective for Patrons to experience the Momenta Biennale de l’image and the Louisville Photography Biennial in such close succession. FotoFocus was fortunate to have the support of the Momenta team to help coordinate itineraries, and likewise with Paul Paletti at LPB and every Louisville venue that was visited. Next year will bring the renewal of Patron memberships and invitations to new FotoFocus Biennial exhibitions and events.