The Biennale de Montréal (BNLMTL) was launched in 1998 by the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal (CIAC), which produced the first seven editions of this international contemporary art event.
In 2013, La Biennale de Montréal became an independent non-profit organisation dedicated to producing the biennial event BNLMTL. With this in mind, the new organisation promptly formed an innovative strategic partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), which itself had presented two successful editions of the Québec Triennial.
In its current form, BNLMTL thus incorporates the two previous exhibitions into one major event that can now take advantage of the complementary skills and resources of two prominent Montréal institutions, La Biennale de Montréal and the MAC, in addition to those of its many other contributors.
A key fixture on the Canadian contemporary art scene for fifteen years, BNLMTL can now offer an expanded and varied program of exhibitions, talks, screenings and performances by building on a well-established Montréal network. BNLMTL is consequently in an ideal position to invite a broader audience to discover the latest visual art practices and gain a greater awareness of the issues they raise. Through its initiatives, BNLMTL also strives to support the work of artists from Québec, Canada and beyond, open new avenues for discourse on art, examine curatorial practice and play an influential role in the network of international biennials through the particular experience it provides in probing the timely questions.
The mission of La Biennale de Montréal is to foster, support, interpret and disseminate the most current visual arts practices by producing the biennial event BNLMTL. In this way, La Biennale de Montréal offers a wide audience a privileged opportunity to grasp the esthetic and social issues addressed by today’s art. La Biennale de Montréal also provides an international platform for Québec and Canadian artists, curators, theoreticians, art critics and researchers working in various fields to meet, encounter and discuss cutting-edge practices, and contribute to different international networks.
All of the initiatives of La Biennale de Montréal are premised on risk and experimentation. Its goal is to support the most daring, thought-provoking art practices and curatorial projects while offering the public a diversity of experiences.
Pascal de Guise
Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais
Painter and novelist
Curator of the Art Collection
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Vice-president, SAJO Inc.
Executive and Artistic Director
An accomplished curator, critic, editor and arts administrator, Sylvie Fortin became Executive and Artistic Director of La Biennale de Montréal in September 2013. As Editor-in-Chief (2004-2007) and Executive Director/Editor (2007-2012) of ART PAPERS, she led the organization from a regional publication to a global thought leader. She was Curator of Manif 5 – the 5th Quebec City Biennale (2010), Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery (1996-2001), Program Coordinator at La Chambre Blanche (Quebec City, 1991-1994), and a long-term collaborator with the Montreal artist-run centre OBORO (1994-2001).
Her critical essays and reviews have been published in numerous catalogues, anthologies and periodicals, including Artforum International, Art Press, C Magazine, Fuse, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art and Parachute.
She served on the jury of DAK’ART, the Biennale de Dakar (1992), and was a co-organizer of “Naming a Practice: Curatorial Strategies for the Future”, one of the earliest international conferences on curating, at the Banff Centre for the Arts (1994). A Keynote Speaker at the international conference “Vision, Space, Desire: Global Perspectives & Cultural Hybridity” produced in Venice by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, and the Venice Biennale (2005), she also delivered the Keynote Address at the “Atlantic Symposium on Art Writ- ing”, presented by C Magazine and Visual Art East, Halifax (2013). She was invited to deliver the Commencement Speech at Watkins College of Art, Film & Design, Nashville (2011) and to write
the “state of art” introduction for the Visual Artists Network’s annual publication. Produced by the National Performance Network, a New Orleans-based national service organization, this publication was released for its annual conference in Dallas (2011).
Fortin has received many grants from the Canada Council for the Arts for her work as an independent curator and writer. In addition, her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. In 2007, she was named Lexus Leader for the Arts, Atlan- ta. Fortin is frequently asked to serve on advisories, jurys and panels at the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Tennessee Art Commission, in addition to having contributed to jurys for the Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Writing Initiative, New York; Art Matters, New York; and the Hudgens Prize, Duluth, GA.
She is a member of AICA-USA, the American chapter of the International Association of Art Critics, and an Advisory Committee member of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut.
Sylvie Fortin brings rigorous artistic vision, media and publishing expertise, an extensive international network, proven leadership, and solid management experience to la Biennale de Montréal. She is responsible for the realization of BNLMTL 2014 and for the positioning and strategic development of future editions of BNLMTL.
Assistant to the Director
Passionate about the visual arts and the creative process, Lydie Bochatay joined La Biennale de Montréal in 2011 as Assistant to the Executive and Artistic Director.
After studies in communications, visual arts and expography, Lydie Bochatay lived abroad for over six years, dividing her time between Lausanne and Sydney, where she collaborated with fashion, graphic and industrial designers. She returned to Montreal in 2011, and has also been involved in the world of experimental music ever since.
Olfa Driss has been working as an arts and culture communications professional for over ten years. Passionate about contemporary art, she helped further the missions of the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology and Hexagram | CIAM, an Inter-University Centre for Media Arts now internationally recognized for its model of research-creation, and was Video Editor for Festival TransAmériques and Interim Communications Director at Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal. She also worked at Antimodular, the Montréal studio of internationally acclaimed media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.
A graduate of UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) in Communications, Media Arts, and the Study and Practice of the Arts, Olfa focuses on emerging, interdisciplinary and intercultural practices. In 2013, she joined the programming committee of Agence Topo, a Montreal based artist-run centre.
Born is southwestern France, Pablo Maneyrol holds an MBA from the HEC Paris. His early professional life took him to Beijing, where he worked as Administrator for Festival Croisements, a major multidisciplinary arts festival established by the French Embassy and held in a dozen cities across China.
Since making Quebec his home, Pablo has worked for several performing arts organizations including CINARS and Festival TransAmériques. In 2012-2013, he was Administrative Director at Usine C, a contemporary creation and presentation center promoting local and international artists in dance and theatre. He also contributed to the launch of a unique shared work space dedicated to freelancers in arts and culture. Pablo joined the Biennale in the spring of 2014.
Pavitra Wickramasinghe is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores new ways of conceptualizing the moving image and conventions of seeing. Her practice is guided by wonder and the need to know how things work; to break down motion, videos and screens to their most elementary components and builds them up again.
A graduate of Concordia University and the Alberta College of Art and Design, she is the recipient of numerous residencies, awards and grants including Changdong Art Studio, National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, South Korea), La Chambre Blanche, Québec; Pépinières Européennes pour jeunes artistes (Huesca, Spain), Canada Council for the Arts, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme and The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and in France, South Korea, Finland, Germany, Spain and Denmark.
An Assistant Director at Stride Gallery in Calgary from 2003 to 2006, she joined La Biennale de Montréal in January 2014.
Public Development Coordinator
Ania Wroblewski holds a PhD in French literature from Université de Montréal. In 2014, she defended her dissertation, titled The Lives of Others. Sophie Calle and Annie Ernaux, artist outlaws. She has published articles in numerous magazines and academic journals, and has presented papers at conferences in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Paris and London.
Her current research focuses on theories of everyday life, the circulation of literary and artistic works, the cultural history of the French press, and the litigation of art. She is a member of the scientific committee of the journal MuseMedusa and a cofounder of the Centre for Feminist Pedagogy, a feminist summer school. Ania joined La Biennale de Montréal in August 2014.
Web and Social Media Coordinator
Social Media Specialist and Web Projects Manager in the cultural sector for more than three years, Maxime Sollier worked for many international music festivals in France. Since his arrival in Montréal, he has worked for the festival Coup de Cœur Francophone and founded the music website La Fourche à Foin.
Maxime joined La Biennale de Montréal in March 2014 to develop the organization’s online presence and to expand the reach of BNLMTL 2014.
Born in Azerbaijan, Yagub Allahverdiyev resides in Montreal, where he joined La Biennale de Montréal in 2013. He obtained a graduate degree in Political Science in France in 2009 and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations in Azerbaijan in 2006. Reflecting his passion for the visual and performing arts, his thesis explored “the role of culture in international relations.” Yagub has wide-ranging experience in customer support as an interpreter, receptionist, instructor, marketing officer, administrative assistant and liaison officer. He also worked as a production assistant on a documentary tribute to Pina Bausch.
Asieh Harati (curatorial, McGill)
Caroline Thérien (edition, University of Sherbrooke)
Fanny Latreille-Beaumont (development, UQAM)
Gloria Cantin (communications, internship OFQJ)
Julie Masse (development, UQAM)
Marion Baudin (communications, internship OFQJ)