September 25, 2012
by Canadian Architect
Nuit Blanche was originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces. Now universally translated as “Sleepless Night,” Nuit Blanche brings more than a million people to the streets of Paris every year. In 2005, Paris organizers contacted the City of Toronto’s Special Events office with an invitation to join the ranks of approximately six other European cities producing similar all-night events. The international success of Nuit Blanche continues to build each year and has expanded its reach beyond Paris to more than 25 cities across the globe – each offering its own version of the all-night art extravaganza.
Toronto was the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model, and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago.
At its core, Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour event with a mandate to make contemporary art accessible to large audiences, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space. Nuit Blanche is both a “high art” event and a free populous event that encourages celebration and community engagement. From sunset to sunrise, city spaces and neighbourhoods are transformed into temporary exhibitions. Unusual or forbidden spaces become sites of contemporary art open for all-night discovery and rediscovery. Cultural institutions, from museums to galleries to artist-run centres, open their doors and offer free access to contemporary art. The everyday is suspended as the city’s landscape is changed to welcome a variety of artistic experiences.
Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche has wholeheartedly embraced these principles, and has become a cultural phenomenon the likes of which the city has never seen. This year’s event begins on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 7:03pm, and continues all night long until sunrise.
Discover more than 150 contemporary art projects within three zones. Some works encourage an intimate encounter with art, while others will wow you with large-scale spectacle. As a centrepiece to the event, the City of Toronto has produced a special exhibition of 14 projects in and below Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. Curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow, Museum for the End of the World will engage the audience with questions of catastrophe, collecting and catharsis.
Under the direction of five curators, 58 temporary public art projects by local, national and international artists have been commissioned by the City of Toronto. Three of the curated exhibitions include open call projects which encourage involvement by a wide range of Toronto artists – established and emerging.
Additionally, there is a wide selection of independent projects produced by the arts community on offer. Toronto artists, cultural and educational institutions, museums, galleries and neighbourhoods participate in Scotiabank Nuit Blanche each year by producing one-of-a-kind projects that transform the city.
Once again, the projects are divided into three zones – A, B and C, and each zone has a central information centre to help you as you make your way through the central core of the city.
Of particular note, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) will transform the trade floor at the Design Exchange into a theatre for architects to present their collective vision for the future. By asking the industry to imagine the landscape of tomorrow, the OAA has created an extraordinary collaborative outlook on both the challenges and solutions we will face in the immediate future. To experience more of the future of architecture, visit the Design Exchange at 234 Bay Street (between King and Wellington Streets) in downtown Toronto from 7:00pm to 7:00am during Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.
For further information and details, including an interactive event map, please visit the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche website at www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca.
scotiabank nuit blanche 2012