Monday, October 6, 2008

Nuit Blanche 2008 in Toronto

Nuit Blanche 2008 in Toronto, 'a free all-night contemporary art thing', was a hit. Nearly 800,000 people took to the streets; strolling around the downtown core, the Front Street area, and the fashion and art districts on and around Queen Street West. It felt so unique and special to feel a warm buzz in the city from sunset until sunrise at 7:00 a.m.!

Regretfully, the installations were rather disappointing. With some exceptions, most pieces were amateur in execution. Many young and emerging artists had pieces on display; which was fantastic to see. But too
few of the attractions were worthy of international accolade.
Overall, though, Nuit Blanche was a success because it gave the city back to Torontonians; artists, lovers of art, and lovers of artists alike. Hopefully, the number of patrons and the quality of the installations will improve with each coming year.
Exciting Moments
Leaf Gardens, the historic home to Toronto’s hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, was space to giant screens that depicted a ‘milky’ illustration of sound. The voices in the videos were terribly inaudible but the opportunity to step into a space of such grand hockey history was unmatched!!
The face of Toronto’s uber sexy and ‘modernesque’ city hall was transformed into a television screen. With controllers in hand, visitors played video games with city hall depicting characters, weapons, and the score. Lamps were placed behind each office window to depict images in an LED-style layout. More details on this piece by Berlin artists Tim Pritlove and Thomas Fiedler:
Amanta Scott invited visitors into a very warm and private space for 15 Minutes of Fame. A volunteer from the crowd was invited to arrange items that were placed atop a prison bed from a local penitentiary. Afterwards, the volunteer was invited to speak about their arrangement. The absolutely CRAZY detail of the installation which everyone but myself failed to ask was ‘who did the bed belong to?’ Are you ready for the answer? The bed belonged to Karla Homolka (Canada’s most famous serial killer who, along with her husband Paul Bernardo, were responsible for the rape and murder of three teenage girls, including Homolka’s sister, Tammy):
Into the Blue was an enormous, blue, ‘turd’-shaped balloon hanging and spinning from the roof of Toronto’s Eaton Centre. The piece was installed by Fujiwara Takahiro of Tokyo. From a distance, it looked pretty cheap and ridiculous. From directly below, however, staring up until the acrylic well, it was marvellous.
More details about the 18+ cities that celebrate Nuit Blanche:

*images have been captured by myself


Anonymous said...

i totally agree that the art was underimpressive. but the feel of the town was so so cool. i've never felt toronto like that in my life. i hope the city keeps up this festival because it was so so one of a kind.

corina said...

You should have checked out Zone C - very concentrated number of awesome exhibits but less people!
Personally, I think the Homolka thing was just shock art - feh. The closest thing (and imho cooler alternative) in C was the SMASH! exhibit, and who doesn't like to smash stuff? hehe

Anonymous said...

Zone C was packed with amazing quality of exhibits. Shame I think most people missed it.

Teena in Toronto said...

Thanks for letting me know what I missed by not leaving Liberty Village (Zone C)!

Thanks for the visit!

Global citizen said...

next year i'm allllllllll over zone c

Anita said...

Global citizen, I hate to say, but Zone C being good this year does not mean it'll be good the next. Every Nuit Blanche is different, with different curators, artists, etc. I'm hoping next year every Zone is a winner. Zone C was my fave this year too! But I liked projects in all the Zones. There was nothing I didn't like in Zone C which is why I liked it best!

Global citizen said...

:S it's all a gamble. ahhhh!

Dahlia said...


Let everyone know that there is a public meeting for all artists to talk about Nuit Blanche 09 coming up. It's on December 12th at City Hall @ 6:30 pm
Give your feedback to the organizers where you can effect change.
Oh, also the Amanta Scott bed was NOT used by K. Homolka...where did that urban myth start?! haaha

Global citizen said...

hey dahlia,

at present i am out of the country. but feel free to send a copy of my blog the nuit blanche committee.

in terms of amanta scott's exhibition and the karla hamolka bed, amanta scott informed (claimed?) herself, to me, that the bed belonged to hamolka.

have you heard otherwise?