Sunday, September 30, 2018

Nuit Blanche

Dundas Square

In Halifax they have an annual “Art at Night” event called Nocturne, and we have enjoyed exploring the Halifax art scene during his event. Our son researched things to keep us entertained while using his condo here in Toronto, and he discovered that Toronto has a similar event called Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night according to Google Translate). Last night we took the subway downtown and explored some of the art exhibits scattered around the city. The event went on all night so the transit system also ran all night.

Flashing Cars
It was a warm night, and we started our evening at Dundas Square, Toronto's version of Times Square. As you emerge from the Subway, you are instantly surrounded by illuminated buildings and billboards reaching into the night sky, and amazing crowds of people. Dundas Square is always busy, but this event multiplied the crowds tenfold. We picked up a nice map of the event showing where all the art installations were. The organization of the event was excellent and there were lots of volunteers handing out maps and advice.

Radical histories
The actual artistic installations were not so good. The first one we found in Dundas Square was simply not working. It looked impressive, but was supposed to be illuminated mirrors which was not happening. Next we went to see “Places Between” which was supposed to be “a collection of photographic stories centered around the domestic sphere”, But what I saw was a projector projecting random photos on a house window. We then walked down to Nathan Phillips Square where we discovered that Torontonians have a lot more patience for standing queues than I do. Most of the exhibits here involved waiting in lines for hours. There were even long lines for the commercial exhibits which had set up around the Art installations. One of the Nuit Blanche installations that was impressive was called “Radical Histories”. The artist had covered the front of Toronto City Hall with used Jute bags sewn together. The artist had traded new bags for used one from vendors in street markets in Ghana and fastened them all together to create this huge fabric mural. Although I'm not sure how the theme of Radical Histories ties in, it was an impressive display. The other interesting installation was a row of unmarked police cars with their lights flashing; it doesn't sound like much but with all the lights flashing at different times made for an interesting sight.

Although I must say I was disappointed in the art of Nuit Blanche, I enjoyed the evening. It was a huge social event with everyone there to see and be seen, some dressed in their finest or their most outlandish, and I enjoyed just wandering around watching the natives of Toronto in their element.
Toronto's People

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