All Night Art Show : Nuit Blanche 2012

I, like many Toronto dwellers, spent a large part of today in bed. That’s because we were up much of last night, exploring the fantastic art experience that was Nuit Blanche 2012.

Started in Paris in 2002, this all-night contemporary art show began being held in Toronto in 2006, making it the first North American city to participate in this event. These days it is held in 25 cities around the world, with a goal to bring art to the masses in public spaces, all for free.

Our event featured 159 exhibits, located all around the downtown area of the city. Way too many things for anyone to see in the 12 hours, (from 7pm on Saturday to 7am on Sunday), that it runs, but I did my best to see as many things as I could.

In previous years, Nick and I have gone out around midnight but found that the streets were very crowded and it was hard to have a good look at the more popular exhibits. So this year we decided to have a nap and then get up and go out in the middle of the night. Well, only one of us ended up actually getting up and going out at 4am in the morning, and since I am the one writing this, you can guess which of us that was! Of course, Nick made sure I was certain that I was ok about going out on my own before he decided to stay home, and I pulled on a warm sweater and out into the night I went.

And I am so glad that I did, because it was really good and so neat to be out on the streets at that time of night. I walked over to the Zone that was closest to our place and found it easy to see a lot of stuff because streets were closed to cars so you could cross anywhere and because the whole thing was very well organized. Also the large crowds of people had thrown in the towel by this time. That is not to say that there weren’t enough people out to make it fun (and safe), because there were. I managed to cover most of two Zones, ending up at the square in front of our city hall, just in time to see one last exhibit before the sun came up and the whole thing was over.

(These first two pieces were made out of icing!)

If I have any regrets it is that I didn’t go out for a quick trip before taking my nap, to see some of the things that were right in my neighbourhood, but I shall live and learn and plan to do that next year. Now that Nick has heard all about what I saw, I think he regrets not coming, and has already suggested that next year we will go out on our bikes and therefore be able to cover more ground, which is a really good idea.

I’m not sure if the reason this show is held during the night, is because many of the shows involve light so only work well in the dark, or if so many involve light because the darkness allows them to showcases this type of work. Regardless, most of what I saw used light as an important element to the work.

And because it was very overcast, I didn’t notice the moon until the very end. It was full and was the harvest moon! (named so because it is the full moon closest to the fall equinox, when farmers used its extra light to harvest their ripe crops.)

Have you ever been to a Nuit Blanche or something like it?

Thanks for dropping by,