31) Blanche-ing…

October 5, 2010

In my french class yesterday a few people weighed in on how they felt about this year’s Nuit Blanche. Although the air and vibe in the ‘hood I was twirling in was cool that night, I have to say the responsive temp felt by my fellow classmates read more as lukewarm to tepid. I heard comments (in french of course) along the lines of, ” I was not impressed”, a shrug and “It was all right, however, the food in the area was great!” to “Why are kid so young wandering around DRUNK without their parents?” The streets were definitely jammed up but to me this spelled success since, I believe, one of Nuit Blanche’s mandates is to get people out of the house and “onto the city’s streets for an all-night exploration and celebration of contemporary art.” Generally speaking, some (not all!!!) of the contemporary art on display during Nuit Blanche can leave one feeling a bit empty. Or at least that is the way I have felt while viewing some of the NB’s city-wide exhibits. From my misty recollection, I believe I have wandered around les rues en ville pour Nuit Blanche, twice before. Last year’s highlight took place at Koerner Concert Hall where Bill performed along with numerous other musicians in a John Cage inspired musical swirl. But, other than that, it was a bit of a letdown. This year, however, I managed to enjoy most of what I saw. Read Murry (from The Toronto Star) Whyte’s take of the evening, here, I agree with most of what he said but keep in mind my NB experience was pretty much limited to some of Zone C. Kudos to Christof Migone who was the curator for the area. I had more hits than misses on Saturday night which from previuos experience is pretty amazing.

*for some reason I cannot “un-bold” the first half of this post without rewriting everything which clearly is not going to happen.

Erik Saitie's Vexation

The Endless Place


Later Than Night at the Drive-In

By the way, I was home by midnight, since I had to work the next day – argh. But, maybe that’s not a bad thing (the home by midnight part, not working on Sunday). Here are the exhibits I saw before I jumped on the all-night subway home.

List 31 – My Nuit Blanche in order of appearance:

*note: after spending way too much time linking all of these to their corresponding link at the Nuit Blanche website, I now realize it links them all to the same page. You’ll have to find the name in Zone C if you want to get more info. Sorry…

The Next Community

Erik Satie’s Vexations (1893) (My favourite.)

I Cried For You

The Endless Pace (Variation for 60 Dancers)


Church Intent

Endgame (Coulrophobia)

Auto Lamp


The Big O

_scape with 6 and 7

And from Zone B (west)

Later Than Night at the Drive-In

List 31b – If I can give a few words of advice for those interested in next years all-night art crawl it would be this:

  • Consult the Nuit Blanche website or find a map or brochure and plan ahead. There’s nothing more annoying than wandering about aimlessly when there are over 100 exhibits and several “zones” to negotiate.
  • Give up any illusion of seeing all of them.
  • Two or three hours is a good limit if you want to keep things fresh(ish). In my opinion that goes for gallery hopping in general. After two hours the brain (or is it just mine?) starts to vibrate.
  • Dress for it. Layers people.
  • Bring you camera.
  • Don’t be afraid to go it alone. I was on a solo-crawl and I enjoyed it. You can visit whatever you fancy (or not)  and can stay as long as you want to without worrying what the other person. Don’t get me wrong, going with a pal can be fun, as well, but one is not such a lonely number when you are surround my hundreds of strangers.
  • If you’re employed at the kind of place where a Sunday shift is a possibility… book the day off.
  • Remember, as in most areas of life, what moves a person varies so it is always best to check things out for yourself and make you own assessment about it.


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