White Night

It is very rare that I write a post on the weekend but this is for a special reason.

Last night/this morning was the 5th annual Nuit Blanche. It is, as it says on the booklet “For one sleepless night experience Toronto transformed by artists.” It runs from sunset to sunrise and is surreal. I have gone for all but 1 year since it began. I have to say that last year was a little disappointing and I didn’t bother doing a post on it. But this year i went out in the packed streets with Cory, there was an energy in the city and I found myself impressed with what I saw.

The first thing we came across was The Next Community done by Jocelyn Robert. It was images of people layered together into a moving image and projected on the side of a building. It is supposed to present something about our “growing individualism” and the “erosion of individual freedoms”.

The Endless Pace by Davide Balula. A performance piece of 60 dancers that represents a clock/the movement of time. As you can see the chairs are empty because I missed the performance. We didn’t feel like standing around for half an hour waiting for it to start again. But there was something interesting in the chairs being in the perfect circle waiting to be occupied.

When we left that area we walked down the street and turned the corner where we saw this…

It freaked me the hell out. I was reminder of the first Batman movie. As we moved closer and were greeted by 2 more large clown heads stuck between the buildings.

The piece is called Endgame (Coulrophobia) by Max Streicher. The heads are made out of recycled billboards and are held in place by air pressure. Even though I have read the booklet description a number of times I am not sure what the overall point of it is except that it is supposed to evoke some kind of emotion. And I have to say it does especially when you get a good close look at one of the heads.

Down the street there was this strange blue glow attracting people like flies to the zapper. It was a piece called 1850 by Sandra Rechico. It represent where the original shoreline of Lake Ontario was in 1850. Everything past there is reclaimed land. The blue represented the body of water we would have soon been submerged in if we went any further if this was 1850.

Outside the water looked like this..

In the water looked like this…

The mix of blue light and mist made it part dream and part rave.

This image is from an installation piece called Erik Satie’s Vexation (1893) by Martin Arnold and Micah Lexier. Apparently some guy named Erik Satie composed a work called “Vexation” in 1893. On the back of the original score he wrote “to repeat 840 times this motif, it is advisable to prepare oneself in the most absolute silence, by some serious immobilities”. Yeah. So the artists of the night decided they would play this piece 840 but also once it is played that sheet of music be folded “giving shape to the sound”. There were 2 pianists (do not giggle while saying that word) and 2 people folding. It was interesting to see the sheets take shape but the music I was, umm, how can i say this politely, interesting.

We did see more stuff but my camera wasn’t good enough to take pictures in the mostly dim or peculiar lighting. They either came out too dark or blurry. Cory had his fabulous camera with him as well so if you are lucky he will write a post with some additional pictures.

There was also stuff that we wanted to see but like the Endless Pace we missed the performance and didn’t want to stand around or there was some crazy ridiculous lineup that seemed almost unending.

This is just a pic of Cory from across the subway platform as we went in opposite directions. He went home at a reasonable hour (11pm) as I went to meet my friend Sarah (she likes to be mentioned by name) as she performed at the Bad Dog Theatre. Sadly, I totally missed the show (I don’t feel so bad cuz she has one more show next week and I will be there) but I did get to hang out with her and grab a drink and eat. I managed to make it home at the completely unreasonable hour of 3:30 am.

It was a good night.


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