It’s not obscene IT’S ART!

Was it art or just wondering around in the dark? A blow by blow account.

This weekend in our fine city Toronto was the art festival –Nuit Blanche. The evening started off with an easy ride from the burbs to the downtown core where it suddenly went to hell with road closures and blockades. I made a somewhat exasperated call to Tra who was going to be my partner in art for the evening. With her direction I finally made it to a parking garage where lo and behold the attendant only took cash and of course I didn’t have any but never fear the crisis was averted when he told me I could pay upon my return.

Enter guest appearance by Nel by way of three way phone calling,  between Nel, Tra and I all while I waited for Tra – who by the way is never quite on time. We chatted and chatted and chatted some more then alas, Tra makes it to my street corner – well not really a corner but still me standing by the curb looking like a giggilo.  She parks and we’re chatting when suddenly my phone dies – Yep – was this an omen of things to come?

Finally we’re both in the city and we’re both parked and let the good times roll. The first thing we come across is an “exhibit” of I don’t know what you could call it but they were projecting some sort of video on the side of the art school of three bobble head people singing some kind of song Click – photo – sorry about the vagueness  – maybe I wasn’t overly concerned about it. We continue on our way – side note: it’s funny at these things groups of people just randomly stop and look at things that are not part of the program but cause others to stop as they wonder what everyone is looking at. End note*  We come to the other side of the building and there are some sort of pictures/projections on the windows which again – I didn’t get or understand but whatever that’s art right? It’s conceptual crapola.

Not all is in vein as we hit the corner there is a tent of sorts and there in the tent are people – is it some kind of tableau? No, they’re moving and talking to the people as they pass by. Ah finally one I get – they were volunteers handing out the programs and maps. PHEW we wont be wondering around aimlessly we now have direction.  With program in hand we decide on a course of action and head to the subway.

-interlude with cheesy music –

We … have … arrived. Our first stop is around the Scotia building – OH look a line – must be something exciting  – we go and see – WHAT there is a sign letting us know that from that point on it was a half hour wait to see/participate in the event, we pull out the program – Tra discovers that it’s some interactive thing where they take pictures and somehow morph them together or something all the while people across the street get to see the morphing in action because it’s being projected on the wall of the building,  – yawn. I wasn’t overly impressed.

We pass through a building taking pictures of some interesting architecture and in the courtyard – oooh look, what’s going on here? There is a fountain – although turned off – and it’s surrounded by a circle of chairs. The chairs are empty but there is another projection on the wall and it shows people sitting on the chairs – I was wondering – what are we supposed to sit on the chairs too? But NO … not yet apparently, there was someone there stopping anyone from having a sit down. Picture of empty chairs in a circle – kinda interesting. Maybe? Well with nothing happening there and no chance for a seat we trudge on.

We walk down the alley along with the masses and oh the street lights are interesting – CLICK – photo – when we get to the corner we look left and right  – On the left there are throngs of people in line for some kind of drink we look past the line and see there in the crevasse between two buildings – the rather large face of a balloon clown. AH COOL – CLICK – PHOTO – we walk towards that end of the street. In the crevasse there are actually 3 such balloons all are interestingly demonic looking – click –click – click –photo’s.  We turn to the other end of the street – once again passing the drink line – should we stop? NO we trudge on.

On the other side  – there is an odd blue light and possibly a fog machine – there are bodies coming and going from the light – the entire scene could’ve been from Steven Spielberg movie. CLICK – Photo –  We arrive at the light expecting to be beamed to some exotic location. But not really we stand in the light surrounded in fog – click – photo – looks cool – click photo of strangers looks like a seedy meeting of mobsters.  All in all not too shabby.

I just have to say that at these things I don’t know what the best way to go about it is? Do you spend a few minutes at as many locations as you can or do you hit up the ones you really want to see and wait in the excruciatingly  long lines?  Perhaps a bit of both? Anyway.

With the blue mist behind us we see people leaving a building – what’s going on here? We enter. There are people sitting, others standing – the keep lifting their arms and oh they’re eating – we happened upon a food court. We stop – click – more interesting architecture/fountain – Oh there’s the exhibit. There is a lady and what  – she’s folding paper on the long ass table – because on the other end of the table there is another girl doing the same thing.  Apparently what is happening is they are folding pages of music – the folding is supposed to reflect the mood of the music played on piano – click photo. The two piano players are on the other side of the concourse and the pages are taken between the two by a runner. Interesting notion I guess. By the end of it, I believe the entire table should be filled with these folded pieces of paper.  – Turn around and wait OH something shiny – click photo – that’s not part of the exhibit but some interesting wall art.

We exit the building and the whoosh of the chill night air hits us – refreshing me like a cool splash of water.  There is a crowd a people across the street gathered round what seems to be a jumble of wire tubing. What’s this all about? The entire contraption looks like something from a Dr. Seuss book click – photo each tube has two ends that you speak into and listen out of – the whole idea I guess is that you don’t know who you’re speaking with but just a voice from out of no where. Kinda cool – I didn’t try it but Tra did.

I believe that this concluded this portion of or excursion. We again consult our program and off to the subway and to Yorkville.

–          More cheesy music interlude –

We arrive at the subway and are shuffling along with the masses to the street. Walking along there isn’t much happening right off the bat except there is  a barricade and some people  – who knows maybe tourists –taking a photo of their friends sitting in a cop car – drivers seat – is that even legal? While officer freelance watches bored.  Although not an exhibit there are of course onlookers watching the happenings. We trudge on.

A little further down the street there are a few towers – and the are projecting pictures of smiley people on the façade of the Holt Renfrew building and everyone stops to take a look although we were more distracted by the scantily clad poster of Marc Jacobs in the window.  Click – photo – just kidding although if it were the real person there would definitely be a photo or two for your enjoyment.

I look up and see just some random piece of whatever and click – photo – it’s a statue of a man holding a clock kind of like atlas holding the world – kinda interesting.  We look down the street and there seems to be a beacon call from down the street – it looks like one of those neon highway signs that flash messages when there’s construction only this is flashing some king of images – click- photo – Not sure what it’s all about but we don’t let it distract us from our destination our main reason for heading out to Yorkville. An Indian Tranny standing on a rock.

Walking down the street we see a mob of people with a line of people running through it like some weird cut off – as it turned out this line up was for some interactive piece having something to do with weather or the seasons or something – I honestly can’t remember but the line was all the way down the block and around the corner – these people were in for a serious wait – but after we ask why they’re standing in line we decide m’eh we’ll move along – nothing to see here – we gravitate towards a pulsing beat that’s almost hypnotic  there amongst the red glow. Anticipation is mounting with each beat the crowd waiting expectantly – 5 minutes – 10 minutes what is going on? Nothing is what’s going on. The sense of expectancy is does not crest and leaves us feeling rather disappointed. We turn to leave – slowly because we know at any moment She’ll be there – standing on that rock, doing whatever it is she was supposed to do. We stop for fear of missing her. But still nothing – we continue to walk again.

There is another crowd gathering off to the side and there in between a couple of trees is a man.  He’s standing and in his hand are lit batons – he begins to twirl them slowly – click photo – but that’s all he does – he stands there twirling his fiery batons – slowly – we turn to leave disappointed. By this time it’s getting close to my bed time and I begin to tire while Tracey looks at me with mild disgust – I’m not supposed to get tired but stay out all night. We retreat down the street towards the subway  stopping for hot chocolate from a second cup I believe although could’ve been a Starbucks – I can’t remember –  Anyway their first attempt at hot Chocolate was ice cold and didn’t leave us with much hope that they could make a hot one – but the second one was very hot – redeeming them somewhat.  We wondered around a finished the Chaud Chocolate  and mowed on some street meat before making our way to the subway and our separate ways.

While I was home nestled in bed before 12:30 Miss Tra if you haven’t read her post was out until the wee hours of morning getting in at an unrespectable hour 3:30 – see White Night post for Tra’s review of our fun filled adventure of the white night.


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the problem with modern art to a certain extent – especially in this context is that its constantly asking the question, “is this art?” (also, is this a run-on sentence?) This wouldnt be a bad question if there was artistic value to what you are looking at but in a bid to fill up the event with as much “art” as possible – everyone gets a free pass or almost everyone at that. It makes for a rather uninspiring look at art that is supposed to make you think and discuss.


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