Staying Up All Night with Nuit Blanche

There is one night when the city literally does not sleep and people come together to embrace art and nightlife. That night is Nuit Blanche.

From the evening of October 4th into the early hours of the morning of the 5th, Toronto held it’s 8th annual Nuit Blanche. For those of you who are not familiar with the event, it is a free all-night art exhibition throughout Toronto. Nuit Blanche, meaning “white night”, is internationally known and held in cities like Paris, Montreal, Rome, Melbourne and more.

This year, the streets of Toronto were flooded with families, art lovers, young adults and street partiers. There were over 120 projects, by 400 artists, and four main exhibitions admired throughout the city. The most popular areas were China Town, Queen Street West, Fort York, Bremner Boulevard, and Nathan Phillips Square.

This was my first time going to Nuit Blanche so I was pretty pumped and had high hopes for the night. I bundled up, grabbed my Nuit Blanche map and started venturing out! The city was packed, unlike anything I have ever seen before. One part of me thought it was cool to truly see the night life of Toronto come to reality. Another part of me felt it was almost too crowded, to the point where it was (almost) unenjoyable. Either way, I got around the city and saw some awesome installations.

Walk Among Worlds by Maximo Gonzales 

One of the most visited exhibits was the Walk among Worlds by Maximo Gonzalez. Made up of 7000 world-like beach balls forming a playhouse on Phoebe St., the line to walk through the art piece extended to Spadina Rd. Talk about some success!

Another part-installation part-sociological survey was Between Doors by John Loerchner and Laura Mendes in Fort York. Individuals are faced with a series of doors, which represent choices and decisions throughout your life. Each door you walk through, you face another set of doors until you reach the end. The results are then calculated telling you any similarities or parallels between the choices you have made.

If you just wanted to get straight to the point and release anything off your chest, you went to one of many Screaming Booths located around the city. The name describes exactly what it is, a booth where you scream except no one can hear you from the outside and the inside is pitch black. Quite relieving.

 Yvette Mattern’s Global Rainbow

The star of the night was Yvette Mattern’s Global Rainbow, laser beams pointing from Chinatown to the CN Tower. This exhibit along with nine others have been extended to October 13th. The other nine are Made in China, Silent Rise, Screaming Booth, Big Top Grand Stand, 8th Wonder, Open Mind, Ascendant Line, Melting Point and Good News.

My favourite installations at this years Nuit Blanche was Planetterraeum. This was a dome covered in live aerial imagery created by 15 Architecture students. When you walk inside, there was also a DJ playing some tunes. Pretty neat if you ask me.

The city came alive from zone to zone, and with over a million people attending this year’s Nuit Blanche, it was a huge success. Read more about Nuit Blanche 2014 from blogger Zahra, who described her experience “admiring the admirers” while she was out taking in the evening: “Art and the city at #NuitBlanche2014”

If you went to Nuit Blanche this year, be sure to tweet us your experience and photos @RUStudentLife!