Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nuit Blanche Toronto and Les Rues Des Refuses 2017

The all night art party and the renegade art festival will fill the city with excitement and wandering souls as people take to the streets starting at sunset on Saturday, September 30. Over 90 projects are featured in Nuit Blanche from artists around the world while Les Rues Des Refuses is back with a number of events including some raves. PS if you don't like crowds you can always wait till after 3am when the people hit the combined brick wall of 'is it art?' and 'I want to go to bed!' The best way to see these exhibits is pick a part of the town you want to see and take public transit and walk around, experiencing the whole night with so many other engaged people.
Revolution is at Nathan Phillips Square
My 'light bike' mobile art exhibit is ready to go so if you see me in the streets say hi. I had a lot of positive interactions with people about my bicycle including three offers to buy my bike and one guy who screamed from a car that I should just give the bike to him. I rode over 40km during Nuit and at the end I left the city at 5:30am feeling very tired. You can see my bike in front of the Hendrick's Gin hot air balloon in the photo above.

"Hendrick's Gin, which is oddly infused with cucumber and rose, will once again bring Torontonians a taste of the unexpected, by offering a rare opportunity to view many of the Nuit Blanche art installations from 44 & ¼ cucumbers (or 44.25 feet) elevation in the air. For the first time ever, the Hendrick's L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E hot air balloon will be tethered at Nathan Phillips Square. If you haven't already secured your "Golden Ticket" to the stars, there will still be a chance for a select few art enthusiasts and night owls to join the standby list for the first ever hot air balloon ride at City Hall – for free. Contest winners can rest and rejuvenate in a spectacular Hendrick's Air Departure Lounge, filled with Victorian decor, magicians and mentalists, and start snapping some sky-high selfies beginning at 7:00PM on Saturday, September 30th through 7:00AM on Sunday, October 1st. "Hendrick's is a gin that elicits wonder and curiosity," comments Beth-Anne Perry, Senior National Brand Manager, Hendrick's Gin. "By bringing the L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. (Levitating. Elevating. Voluminous. Illuminating. Tantalizing. Amazingly. Towering. Roaming. Eye) to life in the heart of Nuit Blanche, we are hoping to "elevate" that feeling and further open the minds of the already creative and imaginative art lovers who stop by to see us."
'Truth' at Yonge-Dundas Square

Transforming the city for the 12th time, Nuit has four featured exhibitions at four locations; "Taking to the Streets" at Queen's Park and University of Toronto, "Calculating Upon the Unforeseen" along Dundas Street from the Art Gallery of Ontario to Yonge-Dundas Square, "Life on Neebahgeezis; A Luminous Engagement" on Bay Street between Albert Street and King Street and at Campbell House Museum, and "Monument to the Century of Revolutions" at Nathan Phillips Square. 'Truth' had a circular ring of fences that brought you closer to the entrance and at 4 in the morning there was no lineup so the flight path was clear and you progressed quickly in the loop. Someone behind me said that they didn't come here for exercise, they came to see art.
'Garden Tunnel' at The Drake Hotel

At the University of Toronto downtown campus and around Queen's Park is the exhibition 'Taking to the Streets' curated by Barbara Fischer, curator of the UofT Art Museum. “There's an incredible celebratory aspect to Nuit Blanche, with so many people interested and curious about encountering something that surprises them, where people seem to really enjoy seeing things they're not familiar with,” says Fischer. Approaching Queen's Park, you’ll hear the bass from a group of souped-up cars blasting music for the Automobile installation. At the park’s College Street border, join artists and activists for Won’t Back Down, a commemoration of a Black Lives Matter protest march in 2016. Head to the U of T's Medical Sciences building for a different perspective on how police and passive protesters clash, with Holding Still // Holding Together, and have a rest while voices sing to you in unison in the Faculty of Music building for Dream Variations."

The Nuit works are catagorized as produced by the City of Toronto, partner projects (special projects and major institutions) and independent projects. You really need to go to the website and look through each project to try to determine the merits of traveling, waiting in lineup and finally seeing 'art' rather than all willy-nilly walking around Toronto and hoping for the best. And even studying the projects might still leave you disappointed. Many people probably had the I won't do this again mentality and then, what the heck let's get back on the horse and see if this year is better.
'Raveslave' in Trinity Bellwoods Park

Alternatively you can also attend what is described as the anti-nuit blanche, renegade art comes to life with Les Rues Des Refuses. Curators and producers submit their work into the Refuses facebook page with new events popping up so keep checking back. You never know what you will get with these programs but one of my favourites is always the mobile rave, however it looks like this year's Kigurumi Parade has been cancelled due to permit and zoning issues. There will be other rave events at Queen's Park (maybe not as free raves at the park may be shut down by police) and Trinity Bellwoods Park (Raveslave).
'Photon Gallery 3.0' at Site 3 coLabratory where you could look at streams of water lit by strobes
'Horses' in Queen's Park Crescent

See more of the 2017 Nuit Blanche after the jump.

'Prosperity for All' at EDITDX

Part of the 'Since then from now' artist collective
'Wiggley Street' in the Thompson Laneway
Some other bikers with lights in hazmat suits from the 'Stranger Things' exhibit
Artist Callen Schaub at Broadview Hotel
Massive throngs of humanity on Queen Street West
'Sorry' in Graffiti Alley
'Raveslave' in Trinity Bellwoods Park and ...
the DJ
Posing at an installation at Beaconsfield Ave and Queen Street from The Drake Hotel
Back at City Hall in front of the eternal flame

'Monument to the Century of Revolutions' in Nathan Phillips Square
Netflix 'Stranger Things' installation and a small part of the gigantic lineups
'Porta-Party' on Bay Street
'Laxa'ine gigukwdzikasi' gigukwas Hayaliligase' on the old City Hall clock tower
The Drake Hotel
'Serpent People' beside the CF Eaton Centre

Banners at 'Where Once Stood a Bandstand for Cruising & Shelter' at Queen's Park
'Won't Back Down' on Queen's Park Cres

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