Nuit Blanche

October 5, 2009

I  checked out some of Nuit Blanche Saturday night, touted on their website as – “a free all night contemporary art thing”. The Toronto streets were jammed. I only saw a sliver of the offerings, some of them hits and others misses, but comparing this years Blanche to a couple of years ago I’d say it was a success. My favourite of the evening was the James Tenney piece, In a Large Open Space, at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s brand new Koerner Hall (which, by the way, looks like a wonderful venue). Bill was one of the many musicians strategically planted inside and out of the auditorium, whose collective musical contribution created the most hauntingly, breathtaking sounds. Very moving.

My other Nuit Blanche  favourites included Jeff Koons gigantic, inflatable bunny rabbit suspended from the rafters of the Eaton Centre and Wild Ride – by Winnipegers, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan – whose two midway-esque carnival rides whizzed around the heart of the financial district. The rides’ operators were dressed as suits supposedly symbolizing out of work investment dudes putting in time at a job filled with some hazardous ups and downs – not unlike the rise and fall of the fluctuating stock market. Good One.

There seemed to be a lot of interesting exhibits included in this year’s Nuit Blanche but we found it difficult to navigate through the crowds without a well hatched plan. I should have started constructing one sooner than an hour before hitting the art filled streets of the city. My guess is the later one gets started the lighter the crowds might be. Next year I think I’ll head out a bit later. I will say, it was great to see so many people out on the town and kudos to The City of Toronto and the organizers of Nuit Blanche for making that happen.

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