Nuit Blanche Toronto October 2013
Nuit Blanche is an annual event that changes downtown Toronto for one night. It is a spectacular night – from dusk to dawn – of contemporary visual art that transforms the city streets and office buildings. It is a night when art is brought to the masses and is celebrated by people of all ages and all demographics. For me it is not all about the art but about the transformation that takes place for one 12 hour period once a year. Hearing the peoples reactions to the art is a refreshing change from the reactions of seasoned gallery visitors. Yes, it is the whole experience and even though my feet don’t forgive me for weeks I will be back next year.
Having said all that there were some memorable works this year. Many of them celebrated Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel, his first readymade, exhibited in Paris one hundred years ago. Here are some of my favourites:
Bruno Billio (Toronto)
Church of the Holy Trinity
Part of the appeal of this piece was its placement in an old Church. Mismatched chairs were suspended from the ceiling and the floor was covered with a reflective surface. As you gazed into the surface the chairs seemed to go on forever. It was magical.
FOREVER BICYCLES, 2013
Ai Weiwei (Beijing, China)
Nathan Phillips Square
This was the largest edition of the Forever Bicycles sculpture ever mounted. 3,144 bicycle frames were connected to form a dynamic structure. I am a big fan of Ai Weiwei (in case you missed that in my last blog) so I was really excited about seeing this piece.
Robert Hangeveld (Toronto)
Loading Dock off Temperance Street
This exhibit was fun. A loading dock was transformed into a hunting scene with a stuffed coyote and rabbit, mass-produced duck decoys, mechanized deer and birds, with animal sounds and an operatic chorus. A Rube Goldberg style roller-coaster was set up in such a way that sometimes the coyote was chasing the rabbit and then the rabbit would be chasing the coyote. The whole scene was rounded out with artificial flora.
If you haven’t been to Nuit Blanche check out the website and add it to your calendar for next October.