Nuit Blanche Toronto is just around the corner, and this year’s event promises to infuse the city with contemporary art installations and urban interventions. The festivities begin at 6:58 PM on Saturday, October 1 and run through sunrise on Sunday, October 2, concentrated south of Dundas Street West between Bathurst and Yonge streets.
This year’s program features more than 300 local, national and international artists and nearly 90 projects, including four City-produced exhibitions. The 11th edition of the annual festival promises to transform the city’s streets, buildings, and sidewalks and ignite the City’s cultural diversity.
Nuit Blanche’s Four City-produced exhibitions—And The Transformation Reveals, Facing the Sky, Militant Nostalgia, and Oblivion—feature 33 individual projects. The first exhibition, And The Transformation Reveals, centres on the concept of transformation and metamorphosis. Curator Camille Hon Xin, drawing from poet Rainer Maria Rilke, highlights the process of change with ten projects along Bay Street, between Dundas and Front.
The And The Transformation Reveals exhibition features one exciting urban intervention outside the Old City Hall on Queen West. Luzinterruptus's Literature vs. Traffic, an interactive light exhibition, will transform the street into a river of donated books, conquering a public space normally allocated for vehicles. At the end of Nuit Blanche, the exhibition will recycle itself: the books are up for grabs!
Facing The Sky, curated by Louise Déry, will turn Nuit Blanche’s attention to the night sky and the night world along Toronto’s waterfront. For Electrosmog Toronto, artist Jean-Pierre Aubé will scan the sky using projectors, lasers, computers, antennas, and receivers to collect and record radio frequencies, which will reveal hundreds of thousands of emissions from personal communications devices, security systems, commercial beacons and satellites. Aubé’s project juxtaposes clunky electronic devices with the invisibility of radio frequencies to reveal the electronic smog that envelops Toronto.
Militant Nostalgia, also entitled When History Meets Memory, is curated by Paco Barragán and comprises ten projects along John Street, between Dundas and Front. José Lerma’s A Public Memorial comprises one of the ten projects. A retro-reflective material covers a street-level billboard, projecting a ghostly image of a Toronto park. When flash photographed, the photo transposes from negative to positive in crisp black and white, allowing anyone to strike a pose and “become an icon.” Share your images on social media using #APublicMemorial!
OBLIVION, curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow, includes three exhibition projects at Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall, and deals with the Sun’s death in the distant future. Philip Beesley’s Ocean, one of the three projects, will transform the Rotunda of City Hall into a “turbulent primal environment” with a chorus of whispers and cries engineered with the help of sound designer Salvador Breed. Raw recycled textiles from H&M’s Garment Collecting Initiative forms the mass, which evokes life in the ocean environment. The project was developed with Waterloo’s Living Architecture System Group.
Novka Ćosović’s The Museum is just one of many independent exhibitions at this year’s Nuit Blanche that shifts the focus towards contemporary cultural histories. In The Museum, live coverage of violence is mediated by televisions against a backdrop of swimming pool tiling to evoke the ubiquity of trauma in daily life.
Just a few days remain until Nuit Blanche 2016 is upon us! There are hundreds of other interesting projects, exhibitions, urban interventions, and installations to view, all available in this year's online program. Interested in chatting about any of the above exhibits or what you're planning to see and do this Nuit Blanche? Head to our UT Nuit Blanche 2016 Forum to debrief.