Fragments of Figment

Back in early June, I took the ferry to Governors Island for the Figment art festival. I’d attended the festival last year and was surprised by the quality of the art and the clever way the installations had adapted to the unique spaces, namely the sprawling green lawns and old stately homes. I have to say though that this year I was not as impressed. There were still some fun and engaging installations (the above chair sculpture was great, you could hide under the table and hear the sounds of breaking glass), but overall I felt a bit lost. One difference may be that it was raining, limiting the crowds and the outdoor art. Also, there were oddly lots of people wearing corset/fairy wing combinations and I think an amateur production of Midsummer Night’s Dream was about to break out. The atmosphere was more Renaissance Fair than art festival. And I don’t purposefully put myself in the way of Renaissance Fairs. Anyways, I have some photos of some of the projects I did really enjoy below!

Side note: if you’re looking for something cool to do this weekend and can make it to Wassaic, New York, there will definitely be some quality art happening there for their Summer Festival. Check out my Hyperallergic post for a preview.

A former chapel on the island was overtaken with rather charming children’s art. I, of course, was drawn to this epic struggle between a squid and a shark. Actually, the shark seems to have given up. Could this child artist come decorate my home?

Although the cardboard hadn’t fared too well in the storm, I still liked Ian Trask’s sculpture that visitors were encourage to walk on. The warped look of the cardboard after the rain, combined with some random feathers, was a lovely visual.

Another former worship space was changed into an alien-like environment with blue lights and this curious descending head wrap that “transmitted” trippy blobs on a screen. It was so weird, I liked it.

One artist had transformed a home with an installation inspired by Frida Kahlo. I loved the way the objects inhabited the space, more like you were finding them rather than them being left for you to find.

But what I most enjoyed was just being able to freely walk around the old homes, with the peeled paint and ornate fixtures as striking as any art.

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