Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Nuit Blanche

For the past eight years, I have looked forward to the first weekend in October, not just because the September birthday bonanza is over, but because I get to stay up all night, walk around the city and look at some really interesting pieces of art with hundreds of thousands of my closest friends.  

The rose is without why, 2013
Boris Achour

It's hard not to get caught up in all of the enthusiastic energy in the city during Nuit Blanche as the streets are flooded with with art enthusiasts and party animals alike.  As a celebration of modern art, it's hard to know what to expect when you head out for the evening even if you've done your research and read up on all the exhibits and installations.  
Music Box, 2013, John Dickson


I am often most excited to see exhibits with elements of performance or audience participation.  This year was no exception as the clowns had the people laughing, the intstruments played themselves at the amazement of the spectators and we took turns leaving notes behind.  I love that the festival doesn't just celebrate the works created by the artists, but recognizes art as a collaborative experience between artist and spectator.
Forever Bicycles, 2013
Ai Weiwei

I couldn't talk about this year's Nuit Blanche without mentioning the most famous piece of the evening, Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles.  Having seen a smaller version at the AGO just a few weeks ago, I couldn't wait to see this on the large scale and it did not disappoint.  Nathan Phillips Square was a buzz with thousands of people eager to get a closer look at the 3000 interconnected bicycles.  It was quite something to be able to walk through them and spin the wheels. The most specatular element of these bicylces for me was the way that together they looked as though they were in costant motion. 

Familia, 2006
Bruno Billio
Every year's Nuit Blanche has it's own special charm or moment and everyone will take something different away from the evening whether they just stop by the festival for an hour or have a marathon of the evening, it's guaranteed to at the very least, give you something to talk about the next day.  I mean, how could you not talk about a mirrored floor in a church with chairs suspended from the ceiling and an organ playing?  What?  I didn't say you'd understand it, I just said you would have something to say.