Culture & Conversation

Feel-Good FIMA

As evening sets in and tents close on FIMA’s BoulevArt Saturday, there is no sign of this week’s all-you-can-see art fest winding down. Instead, emerging in the dusk is a playground of contemporary performances and experiences, spread over the whole length of the festival’s daytime art market. Regardless of how the contemporary experiences differ, some being humorous and relaxed, while others serious and dark; they all share the will and power to pull people together.

In Parc Serge-Garant, Isabel Caccia continues work on her collaborative web of recycled nylons. The artist has invited passersby to work together in tying, ripping, and stretching old nylon stockings to create a life-size maze-web. While the project toys with boundaries between intimate apparel and public space, the main – and most effective – goal of the work is simple: to bring people together to create.

Among the more chilling experiences to be had at FIMA is Alex Storm’s Pinocchio # 10 installation. Storm presents a collection of life-sized Mattel boxes, each housing twisted versions of Barbie, and serving as social commentary on the exploitation of children as sex slaves, in factories, and as soldiers. Each box is accompanied by a recorded monologue delivered from the doll’s perspective, which describes the struggle that he or she has seen.

In Parc de L’espoir, people watch in appreciative silence as En Masse artists let their imaginations run wild on paper, creating a massive black and white comic-graffiti-style mural for FIMA. From a nearby window, a stereo blasts calming tunes to accompany the paint-off. The live, improvisational feel, coupled with such professional results provides viewers with the opportunity to experience and appreciate art and raw talent in a laid-back environment.

Come dark, it is clear that FIMA’s activities revolve around an understanding and appreciation of living well with others. Under strings of lights illuminating the still-buzzing street, surrounded by buskers’ music, and the conversation, laughter and second-hand smoke of passersby, one begins to understand just how comfortable and welcoming this togetherness is.

FIMA is over until next year. For more information on this year’s artists and programming, visit:

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