Monday, October 05, 2009

Nuit Blanche

Toronto held its third all night art festival called Nuit Blanche this Saturday, well into the morning of Sunday. I decided to explore the art scene in the city. After walking for four hours, I decided it was very ... interesting.

First up was city hall, where they set up a Light Machine.

There were giant speakers making all sort of weird spooky sounds (aliens music) and letters between the City Hall buildings kept changing. We saw "FATE", "LONE", etc.

I don't know what it meant, but it seemed very popular. Lots of people were around to see the letters change.

Some exhibits later we came across one that promised ghostly spectres would arise from the ground to recite deadly premonitions (or something to that effect). Well, at least they didn't disappoint.

One cool exhibit (and what I thought was real art) was one exhibit that let people paint whatever they want using a light pen, and it was projected on the side of the huge building near Ryerson University.

Well this guy decided to have a little fun making the Public Green P Parking symbol that led people to think there was a parking garage there,

and that it was Free Parking!

Thankfully the street was closed to traffic else we would have had a traffic jam!

There was this slide outside the Toronto Stock Exchange.

It's supposed to represent the wild slide the market had undergone in the last year.

The weirdest, and freakiest exhibit was the Witch's Cradle. Participants were blindfolded, kept waiting for sometime, then led to a 'bag' that folded around them and then lifted up and was swinging gently from side to side.

I read the explanation and I still don't know what it meant!

We went down all the way to Front St., and Pinball Clement (Argonaut coach) and a couple of his people were there, meeting and greeting people! We went all the way up to University of Toronto and then on Bloor St. before heading home.

One thing I got to think, even though some of the stuff was just plain weird, it was great to be out in the city at night and it was great to see what creative people could come up with. Creativity, and freedom of expression, great way to stimulate thinking and keep a society progressive.

See also: Nuit Blanche from 2006


shaz said...

cool.. i wanted to check it out.

nadia said...

Very cool! That's something we don't get to see too often.

TahaManiac said...

mezba....I am soo envious u got to check out Nuit Blanche ..i soooooo wanted to check out the City in the nighttime with all its creativity

mezba said...

Shaz: It was very cool indeed! And the weather this time was great, unlike last year and the year before when it suddenly became bitterly cold.

Nadia: very true. Art is something neglected (and suppressed) in the Middle East and I think to their discredit. Art provokes and progresses society.

Taha: You should have checked it out with your friends! It's pretty good fun.

Ilham said...

I went to Nuit Blanche too, to the Distillery District area. That was wonderful indeed! They had some wonderful galleries, showcasing thought providing paintings, sculptures and photographs; a fire breather; aerial acrobatic dancing; free dance lessons; Native American drumming and a fast, speedy, open top double decker bus ride to City Hall.

But I did find a lot of the artwork kind of pointless, pretentious in its tenuous connection to "art" and "meaning" and also the feel that it was just there for art's sake; not because it was meaningful.

But we are only in the 3rd year of the festival, here's to hoping future years will be bigger, better & have more art installations in it.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

My friend told me she went to this and said it was pretty cool! The parking thing was funny :P

'liya said...

We saw the word "fear" being projected onto city hall when we were there. We wondered what words would come next!

V's favourite was some Japanese guy playing traditional and nontraditional instruments. I liked the clay workshop, I made a little man in a boat and a house :D

Muslim Girl said...

Hahaha the parking guy's a genius.

Anonymous said...

I had fun! I liked it was soooooo much warmer than the past few years. And there were some really cool exhibits. I did find things were a bit more spreadout than last year too. There was also less 'huh' type stuff as well. Which is good and bad.

Anonymous said...

that looks so cool. In Spain the White Night is for culture, not only the museums are opened, but also theatres, cinemas, libraries, there are lot of concerts in the amazing, but as Nuria is too little I haven't been able to go to one yet!

mezba said...

Odd, I could have sworn I replied to everyone here, but blogger seems to have eaten my comment.

Ilham: yup, I too felt some of the art was borderline stupidity and what the hell is it doing here and why are so many people rushing to see it, but on the other hand it was great to see so many people out on the street at so late a night and the weather was really good.

I want to see some REAL art, you know what I mean?

Cairo: yup, the Parking guy had everyone laughing, even the policemen and women stationed there!

Liya: I didn't see the clay workshop, must have missed it. There was some last year at the CN tower as well. The festival is huge! Lots of walking... I wonder why they don't have it a bit earlier when the weather is nicer!

Muslim Girl: that's what I call real art.

Geeki: oh, definitely the warm weather was a real, real plus. We had Indian food later, the guy stayed open (on the ala cart menu) much later than usual.

Elena: the museums here were open too, as were some art galleries etc. We walked for 4 hours and only did one zone! There was four, I think.

eyes serene said...

I live in the US. I've been hearing about the Nuit Blanche for a few years and wanting to go. I happened to be in Toronto that weekend but I had obligations and could not attend. That was so upsetting to be right there and yet not go! I think it's such a cool idea. Thanks for sharing some of it with us... It's nice to hear about it, anyway!

mezba said...

Eyes: Well don't know if I have to tell you if you missed anything! But ya, it's sure a fun time and if you have nothing to do you should check it out.