Blog ART

Nuit Blanche rears its artistic head this Saturday for yet another sunset to sunrise celebration of contemporary art.

The Toronto cityscape will be transformed and art lovers and those just looking for an excuse to prowl at night will wander the city, flask in hand, wondering if what they're witnessing is indeed part of the expansive exhibit. Things do, after all, get more than just a little interesting.

This year features more than 150 projects within three major zones — Downtown South/West, Downtown Central/East and Downtown East, including 14 projects in and below Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. If it all seems a little overwhelming, never fear, TORO's Erin Hershberg and Jesse Skinner have put together a quick look at some key exhibits to get your planning started.

Art of Fashion (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road, Oval Square, Lower Level, 7-9 p.m.)

artoffashion.jpgStart off your evening of high culture with a little bit of couture.  Vying for the titles of Most Promising Designer and Best Exhibit, ten of Canada’s top emerging designers will showcase their collections to a panel of judges based on this year’s theme: Raw. Expect items of the everyday elevated to intricately wrought elements of design accompanied by cocktails, canapés, and the sweet smell of success.  Do not expect Tim Gunn.  – E.H.


Drake Hotel: Telling Stories (1150 Queen Street West)

drakestories.jpgWhat would Nuit Blanche be without self-proclaimed culture centre of Canada, The Drake Hotel? And what would the Canadian arts scene be without the literal centre of Canada: Winnipeg? Short answer: Not a hell of a lot. So this year, the programmers of the white night cleverly call upon Winnipeg artist and Sobey’s prizewinner Daniel Barrow to commune with the ubiquitous hotel. Barrow will ignite the Drake’s drab façade with hand drawn animated projections, eerily intersecting vintage with the modern day. The chapters unfold with hourly enactments between 8 p.m. and midnight.  – E.H.

Museum For The End of the World (Toronto City Hall, Rotunda, 100 Queen Street West)

museumendworld.jpgSelected by Julian Sleath, programming manager for Nuit Blanche, as one of the evening’s must-sees, Museum for the End of the World is an elegiac exploration of our plunge toward the world’s imminent end.  Apocalyptic projects hauntingly decorate Nathan Philips Square, navigated from car parking levels and loading docks into the council chamber. The words “don’t miss out” never meant so much. – E.H.

Green Invaders (Sun Life Financial Tower, 150 King Street West)

greeninvaders.jpgFrom Lyonnais artist Yves Caizergues comes Green Invaders - an ironic homage to the low-tech '80s video game, created by Tomohiro Nishikado in a decade where conserving energy didn’t exist. With its intricate system of fluorescents the installation will collide light with dark and past with present, overtaking Toronto’s downtown and stupefying passersby with its reversing pull to the beginning of the tech area; a pointedly simpler time. – E.H.

High Water (Roy Thomson Hall, pond, King Street West & Simcoe Street)

highwater.jpgOur belief in time as linear is challenged with Will Gill’s haunting installation. High Water draws attention to the disappearing landscapes of the past by pointing to them in their present locations. Standing upon the ghostly grounds of a long vanished river, viewers are visited by spectral remnants of days gone by. A bicycle floats by here, a single shoe there and imbue the atmosphere with an emotional smorgasbord of memory, imagination, truth and dread. - E.H.

All Night Convenience (Bay Adelaide Centre, 333 Bay Street)

convenience.jpgWe all know Nuit Blanche wouldn’t be legit without some comment on the consumptive nature of society. Enter All Night Convenience — a 300 square foot lantern. This illuminated homage to the corner store is filled with thousands of smaller light sources that represent the products that line the shelves of a typical five and dime. As the night progresses, the display becomes darker and darker as visitors are encouraged to take the contents with them for free, effectively putting the store out of business (and robbing the night of its art) for the sake of a deal. I think it’s a comment on the Wal-Mart generation or something like that.   - E.H.


Throw-Up (Metro Hall, 55 John Street)

NuitThrowUp.jpgFor Throw-Up artist Shelley Miller, working in her chosen medium of sugar, will adorn outdoor spaces with edible icing. The walls will come alive with colourful decorations, creating something like an architectural birthday cake. Watch as children delight at this bold new form of visual art! Smile at a Nuit Blanche exhibition that makes simple aesthetic sense! Laugh as crackheads remove and consume the art before the night is over! - J.S.

Water Will Be Here (Commerce Court West, 25 King Street West)

NuitWaterWillBeHere.jpgThe best Nuit Blanche exhibits have a method to their madness. This is certainly true of Eric Corriel’s Water Will Be Here, a haunting interpretation of global warming. Using digital projection Corriel imagines what urban environments would look like if cities were overcome by rising sea levels. Though the exhibit has travelled through several American cities the artist has described it as “site-specific,” meaning apparently its visual measurements / water lines will match with indoor and outdoor Toronto settings. - J.S.

The Other Side (York Street & Adelaide Street West)

NuitOtherSide.jpgComb the web and you’ll find various stats on how many times the average city dweller is inadvertently caught on camera. They might be bunk but there’s no question we are filmed more than we realize. Michael Klein’s elegantly simple video installation The Other Side brings this uncomfortable truth to light; pedestrians at the intersection of York and Adelaide will be captured on video screens by an unusual camera configuration. The set-up will assure that the projection remains behind the subject, and they’ll never see their own image. Sure to drive some Nuit Blanche guests crazy. - J.S.

All Together Now (Richmond Adelaide Centre, 111 Richmond Street West)

NuitAllTogether.jpgHere’s an exhibition that aims to teach art, not simply display it. Artistic Producer of the Canada Dance Festival Jeanne Holmes presents All Together Now, a project that will run for 12 hours. During that time public participants will learn various forms of dance. Although everyone is invited make sure to wear proper attire - shoes appropriate to the preferred style, and tight clothes. A small sacrifice to be granted a krumping lesson at four in the morning. - J.S.

The Day After, Tomorrow (King James Place, 145 King Street East)

NuitDayAfter.jpgDisaster movies are often bloodless, pointless displays of destruction. Video artist Dave Dyment flips that on his head with the installation The Day After, Tomorrow. All the typical disasters will be displayed on large screens: floods, earthquakes, fires, tidal waves, and the decimation of international landmarks. A mix of horror and broad comedy within the framework of cultural satire. - J.S.

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