Yesterday we altered our sleep patterns so that we were able to take part in Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s version of the all-night art thing. We left our place at 11 and it started out pretty rough — I forget each year how annoying massive, mostly-drunk crowds of people can be — but we stuck it out until 2am. Here’s what we saw (or tried to see):
- Before we even went out an enormous traveling dance party drove along Adelaide right under our balcony. I can only assume it was part of Nuit Blanche.
- 36km: Toronto Alleyway Exploration Project
- Garden Tower in Toronto, which we only saw from the outside since the line to walk inside was too long
- Diaspora Dialogues, which we abandoned shortly after walking in since the crowds were too big and lines too long…we couldn’t tell what was going on at the front of the church
- Smoke House, which we again decided to abandon because of the length of the line to ride the bikes. We could see everything though.
- Howl, which I think saved Nuit Blanche for me. Up to this point I was so frustrated with the overcrowded exhibits, and exhibits whose entrances were marked incorrectly on the website, and the impenetrable crowds, that I was just seconds from packing it in. But Howl was terrific. Howl made me want to keep going.
- Campfire, which we couldn’t really appreciate because of the crowds and how loud it was…the dialogue was totally drowned out
- The Anthropocene
- Night Shift, which we walked past in between their dances, so they were just cleaning up piles of golden paper. We didn’t stick around for more dancing.
- Arctic Trilogy, which we watched for about ten minutes
- Take A Penny
- Shrine, for which we didn’t line up but could see just fine from the outside, including the disappointment on the faces of those exiting the inside
- Mariner 9, another favourite
- We walked past a screen showing WATERMARK Cubed in the distance, but didn’t really observe it…but that’s fine, we just saw the documentary itself
- It wasn’t an exhibit, but a drum troupe outside of First Canadian Place was one of my favourite moments of the night
- The Soniferous Æther of The Land Beyond The Land Beyond was also trippy and excellent. I wish we’d stayed a little longer — some people had actually laid down and gone to sleep in front of the exhibit, so clearly it was soothing or mesmerizing or something — but we’ve learned that you have to keep moving on Nuit Blanche
- Pink Punch
- We were lucky enough to walk past the extremely strange Burrman on his travels, on York around Richmond
- Queen Of The Parade
- Music Box
- After a long roundabout route we walked past Toaster Work Wagon and arrived in the top half of Nathan Phillips Square to see Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles, which was pretty cool. However, the crowds on the Queen Street side were so daunting that we couldn’t even get near Crash Cars. Luckily you could read the lit-up poetry of The rose is without why from anywhere in the square.
- Clothesline Canopy http://www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca/project.html?project_id=1297 was actually undergoing repairs so we couldn’t walk underneath it, but we did see it from the side.
- We have no idea what was happening at Agit P.O.V.
- The Big Crunch
- We got in line for L’Air Du Temps but when we saw the line that said it would be a 45-minute wait we bailed
- We interacted with Take A Load Off as the artist intended: but sitting on the discarded furniture…but then we remembered that this was discarded furniture, and were kind of grossed out
And so, that was it for our Nuit Blanche 2013. The weather more or less cooperated…cool and breezy beats cold and rainy any day. The crowds were close to unbearable, and not just for me…they created enough friction between patrons for two people to be stabbed during the course of the night, and I’m sure there were dozens of fights. And how at least one pedestrian isn’t killed every Nuit Blanche I’ll never understand.
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