in præsentia/in absentia

Curator: Émilie Serri 

At Dazibao on March 20 and 21, 2019 at 7 pm


Admission is free. Places are limited. It is possible to book a ticket here.

Requested arrival time is 6:45 pm, 15 minutes before the screening starts. Otherwise, the ticket will be reissued to another person.

The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) and MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image are pleased to copresent the video art program in præsentia/in absentia by curator Émilie Serri on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March 2019.

On the occasion of the 37th edition of the International Festival of Films on Art – taking place from 19 to 31 March 2019 – FIFA and MOMENTA, in collaboration with Dazibao, copresent the first edition of their joint initiative video art program dedicated to emerging practices. This program underlines the commitment of the two organizations to the professionalization of video art and to the promotion of experimentation by its next generation of curators and creators.

With in præsentia/in absentia, Montreal filmmaker and artist of Belgian-Syrian origin, Émilie Serri, offers a selection of videos and short films related to the subjects of incarnation and disembodiment of the body through the digital environment. Having radically altered our perceptions of reality, the virtual dimension offers the possibility of being free from body limits and constraints. Serri is interested in the return of the body in the digital age as an interface between the material world and the virtual world. She raises the following issues in her curatorial text: How are myths, signs, and cultural rituals reinvented in the digital era? What relations are formed between our bodies and these new technologies? In what ways do questions of embodiment and disembodiment (re)appear within virtual space?

In in præsentia/in absentia, the curator brings together 11 artists from Montreal and Toronto who, each in their own way, allow us to consider simultaneous presences and absences.

Arash Akhganoushahpour, Parastoo Anoushahpour and Ryan Ferko | Freya Björg Olafson | Francisco Gonzalez Rosas | MOTEL HÉLÈNE (Frédérique Laliberté and Philippe Lauzier) | Laïla Mestari | Zinnia Naqvi | Robin Pineda Gould

Émilie Serri is a filmmaker, artist and composer. Her recent work focuses on the performative potential of archive material (images found on the Web, family films, institutional documents, etc.) and on cinematic spaces that enable them to be activated. As a graduate of Concordia University in cinema, she has recently completed a Master's degree in visual and media arts at UQAM. Distributed by the experimental film company Light Cone in Paris, her films have been showcased in numerous festivals, both on national and international scenes. More recently, her video installations have been shown in several exhibition centres and contemporary art galleries in Québec and across Canada. In 2018, she won the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in contemporary art and the Talents grant for Telefilm Canada for the production of her first feature film.

For over three decades, the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) has been recognized as the largest festival of films on art in the world. Every March, for more than 35 years, FIFA has brought together the latest documentaries on art, in addition to a selection of virtual reality works. The festival features films on visual arts, music, literature, dance, photography, architecture, and digital arts. For its 37th edition, lovers of film and art in all its forms will appreciate an eclectic international program characterized by strong and captivating themes: engaged art, art and science, history and culture, music and dance, and elegant portraits of unforgettable artists.

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image is an international contemporary art event dedicated to the image. It has for mission to develop a sensitive and sensible impact on the world around us, by means of the image. It creates inclusive and structuring initiatives for education and artistic diffusion, which foster reflection and accessibility in contemporary art. Founded in 1989 as Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, the organization was renamed MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image in 2017.


Dazibao receives financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.