Have you seen this giant mystery sitting in Nathan Phillips Square?
Generating buzz all over Toronto for two days now, this large globe in front of City Hall is part of an upcoming Nuit Blanche installation called 'Death of the Sun' by Director X (most recently credited for directing Drake's Hotline Bling video).
Nuit Blanche 2016 (no longer sponsored by Scotiabank) is one of our favourite cultural celebrations of the year; it's a fusion of high art venues, major cultural institutions, and independent artist installations that fill four dedicated zones. This year, it takes place from sunset on Saturday, October 1st, to sunrise on Sunday, October 2nd.
Originating in Paris, France in 2002, as an initiative to expose contemporary art to the masses in public spaces, Nuit Blanche (translated as “Sleepless Night,”) has become a pedestrian hit in Paris every year since. Toronto, along with six other European cities, was invited by the Paris organizers in 2005 to share in the event, which has subsequently blossomed to more than 25 cities around the world in their own versions of this all-night art extravaganza.
Nuit Blanche brings together a fusion of high art venues, major cultural institutions, and independent artist installations across the downtown core. We especially love the way that Nuit Blanche transforms the city; streets become walkways, structures become sculptures, and shops become performance spaces. While artists endeavor to have Torontonians view the city in new and surprising ways, we most love when a space is co-opted for a use that is distinctly opposite to its normal function in the daylight. Similarly, something that seems banal - like walking the street - becomes a magical experience under the luminosity of our 'bright lights bit city' nightscape, alongside hundreds of neighbours we have never met (and likely will never see again). Last year, around 1 million people checked out the works of more than 500 artists and curators. The TTC transportation network extends its hours to accommodate the crowds, which get larger and more enchanted each year.
As I've discovered in years past, it can be a good idea to nap through the evening and experience Nuit Blanche during the wee hours of the morning when the throngs of citizens are sure to be much reduced.
For useful maps and installation information, visit the Nuit Blanche website. Also, this Toronto Star article is worth the read - it touches on the changes to the event now that it is no longer sponsored by Scotiabank.
We can't wait!
~ the urbaneer team
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