This month has been a whirlwind of activity, new projects are springing up keeping us Montreal minions occupied. Last week, a new magazine YOOTOPIK. One way to describe it as Street “avant-garde” Art with a serving of fresh fruit that keeps you refreshed as you look into the pages. I had the pleasure to sit down with the Creator of the mag, Frederique “Pax” Dumas, whom I’ve known for a very long time and is known as an established dancer here in Canada and abroad.
In the her words Yootopik is… “Something that is somewhat a fantasy and something that is an ideal that is in our hearts and in our minds that we are striving to but remains this surreal thing.”
Q & A
1)What brought to this point to make such a vivid, multidisciplinary magazine?
Pax: “I think in general it just was where I was at as an artist. Just in general so coming from a dance background meaning that was what made me realize that I was in a creative field because before that like I could of had creative ideas but I didn’t perceive myself necessarily as an artist or someone who created art in that way. So through (like) years and years of dancing and committing to creativity in a way. Ummm I think growth through that art form is what led me to expanding into other art forms where I realized it’s just something you are channeling and no matter what you’re using to share that is ultimately what you’re sharing is the most important thing and is what’s driving you to express yourself.
“So being that I had other interests, just as a person, like I love reading magazines and I find inspiration a lot in magazines. its one of the places like I can read about an interview about an artist and it would make me feel like I can do something. I started removing that block, of like “Oh I am just a dancer and this is what I have to stick to” and it happened kind of organically, where little things I started taking more steps to being bold about, you know, expressing myself through these mediums.
“What really sparked the step to actually doing it was for curating for an art gallery. I have basically asked artists to showcase their art in a gallery. And being that I was in the dance community, a lot of the artists that I reached to were people who I saw that had done projects that included visual arts that can be placed in a gallery, through dance or I was asking them like “This project would you be able to put them in a gallery setting?”, you know. And that really inspired me because a lot of the artists that are coming from a dance background had never really perceived themselves as being able to expose in a gallery. It can reach people and live, basically, being that dance is fleeting. Since you’re the art form, as the artist, as the dancer, once you dance its pretty much done. So its how can you share after that not only the art piece but also the documentation of it.”
Photographer Tommy Nuguid
2) How do you see the potential of Montreal in the future for artists and creatives? Do you feel it is only a small group or in 2018 where do you see Montreal heading in the art scene?
Pax: “From my own experience that there is really something very unique and powerful about artists from Montreal. From also travelling and seeing, you know, on a world level like what our artists what they are creating and how they are creating it and how they are approaching art and how they are questioning everything through art, really. It really makes me proud to be an artist from here. The uniqueness of each place when you recognize it from somewhere else it gives value to your own experience and your own uniqueness. So sometimes you take it for granted when you are in it ’cause you’re just in it but when you go somewhere else and you see “Oh London has such a unique vibe and a unique approach and Paris and wherever, you know like Asia and everywhere you go there is going to have a different vibe and energy creatively and it makes you realize the importance of your own. And I think there is so much greatness here in Montreal.
“I think the field that we’re in, society-wise, is not the most open to it. Just culturally, there is less openness I find here as a society in Montreal being in Quebec. So I think that’s what I recognized in terms of like what’s been a good and bad thing because it has fostered so much growth in the artistry because there is not necessarily access to so much success in certain things. But it also makes it that sometimes we haven’t reached platforms that have as much outreach as other places in the world because of that, ’cause there is just not the structure for it. And I think it also inspired us to start creating a structure and start thinking outside the box and saying “Ok well if the structure is not there can I create a structure or if I can be part of that in someway.” One of the strong and beautiful things that I recognize here is the connection, like we have a very positive, and supportive (dance) community.”
3) If people were to get one thing from this, what would you want that to be?
Pax: “That is probably the most powerful thing to me that inspires me is the hope that other people can be empowered to do whatever they seek to do and express themselves truthfully so to have that belief in themselves that they can create anything they want as funny as that may sound that’s really hope that people get from this.”
Gratitude and appreciation are what is in Pax’s works as the launch, November 11, 2018 was a great success. The crowd merged under one roof in Nomad Life, and the magazine was sold out by the end of the night but you can definitely get a copy since Pax will be making a second batch. You can stay connected through the website www.yootopik.com and on Instagram.
ISSUE 02 is OUT!
Featuring Duran Dee Dee Abdullah, Luke Lentes, Sam I Am Montolla, 35 Tilinfinity, Chad Lavoie, Pattern Nation, Marie-Pier Zepol Lopez, Francesca Chudnoff, Tommy Nuguid, Marie-Hélène Lapensée, Leah McFly, Jazmine SaraÏ, and PPL.
Launch Recap Video by Ja James Britton Johnson