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Blanche nuit, nuit blanche

Posted in Art in Canada by Adele Todd on September 30, 2007

I dragged my surprisingly tired but wired body home this morning after my fill of Art.
The advantage of writing a blog is the fact that it is not necessary to give a sound bite on something that needs to ruminate in the mind before arriving on paper.
The Nuit Blanche must have taken the year to prepare, and as anything where artists are subject to their environment, there was a smorgasbord of activities. My friend and I went for dinner downtown and began our treck at Cabbagetown. It felt like Halloween, many people hanging around,restuarants open and live music everywhere.
Inside a bank on one of the street corners, two window sized drawings on paper gave off an ethereal air. We moved closer to have a look and found cards and a book to write comments.
We only had our pull out from the papers, and as we walked to Zone A, we sought out a proper guide to the evening. We entered the gallery district and in one small alcove three white boxes vibrated sound. Many people were standing around discussing it, as you could see the vibrating of the top of the cube. I spied a group with a programme, asked them where they had gotten it, and was told that I could have theirs, they had seen all that they were going to see tonight and were heading out.
One gallery looked worn for wear as people made a single line in and out. A lone trashcan had long given up its function, as cigarette packets and coffee cups lay like installation art around it. Other galleries chose not to participate in such a violation. But as I looked at faces and body language, people were indeed curious and willing to observe and understand what they were seeing. It was an evening out, and there was a sense of curiosity and fun in the night air.
For much of the evening people either followed the crowds, sometimes throngs and throngs of people, sometimes a smattering, but always some grouping, along narrow streets and in established galleries, Art was everywhere. Not everything resonated, not everything worked. But this was not the point of the night. Art in all its multifaceted meaning was on display.
I was concerned in some instances that this very public event may seem to some to be more about a night out and not about discovering art. Some installation works hung limply amidst spotlighting, people hanging around, patiently waiting to see ‘something, anything?’ An engaged audience is patient and plient. What did some artists do to gain their new found public’s interest?
The juxtapositioning of some street elements begged the question, is this Art or is this Art?
There were playful, interactive outdoor projects as well as indoor ones. High art was as accessable as the low and trash found no bin, as patrons made their own mounds of work with debris.
Amidst the chaos, much stood out, an aluminum installation in a gallery that decided not to stay open, but to present work within, was a very clever response to the night. The stalks of corn shone and swayed in the space in a ghostly, animated way. An artist created a mural insitu at the ceramic gallery, using strips of tape. All who looked on flashed their cellphone cameras and digitals like much paparazzi, the art deserving the attention at last.
By the time we got to The Distillery District we were bringing in the morning sun, a few stragglers were still endeavoring to bring on the night as the great crooner Sting sang with the Police…I heard that they are in town performing on the same night! How could anyone divide themselves between all that the city of Toronto provided on this one night? So many choices fell before us that at the end we felt bombarded with sound, sight, smell, the crush of people, the lack of transportation, the meandering stretch, the long cues for restroom and water, and amidst it all, glorious, silly,self centred, deep, memorable Art.

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One Response

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  1. гей транс знакомства said, on December 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

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