Nuit Blanche Toronto 2011: Nuit bland?

The dust has settled after Nuit Blanche Toronto 2011 which wrapped up on Sunday morning at 7 am. I ventured out for the evening to check out some of the installations and feel the overall vibe of the event. Even though it was quite chilly this year, people hit the streets ‘en mass’ for the all-night art event across the downtown Toronto core. The commissioned and open call projects were basically confined to City Hall and the financial district but there were independent projects across the city – Parkdale, The Annex, etc. Compared to previous years, the installations were underwhelming with the exception of a few. My favourites were limited, but pretty interesting:

  • Soon, 2011 by Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard featuring the music of Scanner. From the Nuit Blanche website, “Soon is a materialization, a frozen moment between the before and after. Something above Commerce Court is watching us and an inexplicable encounter unfolds. We’re all implicated. Suspended in an otherworldly moment, sound and vision conspire to warp perception. There’s nowhere to hide as things begin to break down. Something will happen. Soon.”
  • public preposition No. 3 / swing stage, 2011 by Mischa Kuball. From the Nuit Blanche website, “Known for his light installations that take on social hue, Kuball transforms the Eberhard Zeidler skyscraper into a light-activated performance work utilizing a swing stage operated by professional trades-people. The façade, which by day dons an outer skin of endless window squares on its rectangular frame, is reconfigured at night into gleaming and blinking vertical stripes of light in keeping with the rhythm of the simple act of cleaning a window. The activation strengthens the connection between the outside of the building, the body of space located inside, the people who keep our cities running in the dark of the night and resembles cinematographic shutter movements in the urban environment.
  • Slow Falls Rising, 2011 by Karen Henderson From the Nuit Blanche website, “View a video capturing Niagara Falls flowing slowly upwards.  In Slow Falls Rising, turning the image upside down and slowing it down has taken the gravity and speed, but not the wonder, out of the iconic waterfall. An interest in how film and video are like a series of photographs, shown one after another, has led the artist to experiment with different aspects of video, like time and direction.”

Here are a few photos from my travels at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2011. 

Soon, 2011

Soon, 2011

Flightpath Toronto, 2011 

Bone Dump

Hopefully in 2012, they will commission more interesting projects and return to Nuit Blanche rather than Nuit Bland.

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