Nuit Blanche 2012

Saturday, September 29, 7:03 p.m. – sunrise

From sunset on Saturday, September 29, to sunrise on Sunday, September 30, 2012, Toronto celebrated its 7th annual all-night contemporary art festival, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, displaying works created by local, national and international artists.

Nuit Blanche this year was better organized than last year according to locations since they were more centralized, closer to each other and more manageable for viewers to travel from one to another. The weather was nice and warm so thousands of people were wandering around.

City Hall Projects:

World Without Sun, 2012. Christine Davis (Toronto).

A large projected installations on Nathan Phillips Square. They must take a lot of time and consideration – both technological and spatial planning. The entrancing video displayed psychedelic underwater creatures, celestial patterns, plains, nature paths, clouds and stars, tying together the infinite colourful nature of the universe.

I Dream A World, 2012. Nathaniel Dett Chorale (Toronto).

I Dream A World at City hall was a collective conscious raising performance, spiritual, cautionary and, there is something romantic about an end because it can also be a beginning. The performance, along with referential notes to history, Latin and jazz, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Omar Khayyam and James Weldon Johnson provided an ambient coexistence of voice.

Zone A:

Beam of Underground Sun, 2012. (outside of 121 King Street)

With the end of the world theme running around in everyday life recently, this light installation by Arezoo Talebzadeh (Toronto) and Kaveh Ashourinia (Toronto), provided an insight into unexpected sources of light in an urban subterranean space. In all the unlikely spaces, the underground illumination was completely covered by dozens of people as it was very difficult to see the light from a distance – pointing out the wonder of contrary light sources.

Zone B:

Vertical Constructions: Dancer # 1 and #2, 2012. Max Streicher (Toronto)

Inflatable sculptures made up of recycled billboards were suspended within the Eaton Centre (Albert Way entrance). To me it was less graffiti (how easily this word is thrown around) and more symbolic of body and consumption. Yet making use of private capitalist spaces makes the appearance of superficiality palatable.


Group Exhibition at Ryerson University, was, as Nuit Blanche has grown into being, an interactive installation. The shape-shifting pieces, illuminated an alleyway in the shape of a banner that protrude and then retract once pushed in by passersby gave me a sense of our ceaseless attempts at acting and reacting.

Zone C:

Top Down, by BDRDGLab, 2012.

A topographic model of the city presented in an interactive installation where participants can walk through the “landscape” – the valleys only – the lights made from crystals, making up the hill. The piece brought a sense of the otherworldly, as people were had to be both patient and careful about treading apart from the fragile protruding crystal lights.

Text and photo: Salomeh Ahmadi

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