Friday, October 12, 2012

Toronto Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2012

View of Old City Hall from Nathan Phillips Square.
The Vampire and I took our yearly trip to Nuit Blanche on September 29th... and were sadly disappointed this time around. It wasn't as well organized as previous years, and it seems that Torontonians (at least the younger set) completely missed the point. We saw more teenagers passed out on the street -or writhing in their own vomit- than exhibits... and I don't exaggerate. I think it's awesome to go out and have fun with your friends (and goodness knows a little intoxication never hurt anyone), but the immersive vibe was sorely absent. I don't know whether to blame the system for failing to cultivate creativity and artistic appreciation in kids from the iGeneration, or the organizers for moving what's supposed to be a street party mainly indoors. This latter point was truly an unfortunate feature of the evening... The majority of exhibits were indoors this year - including 4 of the main exhibits located in the bowels of the Nathan Phillips Square parking garage. 90+ minutes is much too long to wait to see an exhibit that is open to the public for less that 12 hours, especially when nothing much else was going on along the routes. In my opinion, restricting people from interacting with these exhibits completely defeats the purpose of having Nuit Blanche in the first place since it is meant to be an organic and participatory event. I really hope next year will be better. It's sad to admit that Toronto -a place that is filled with so much talent and creative energy- does not seem able to adequately showcase its artistic abilities. As a proud Torontonian, I am quite frankly embarrassed by this.

All that being said, I would like to end this post by highlighting some of the positive features and enjoyable experiences we had during the night. Firstly, the tiff Bell Lightbox had some amazing film installations. The Vamp and I only got to see one: "Cent une tueries de zombies" (by Mike Lane and Colin Geddes), but it was well worth it. The pamphlet for this cinematic event described it like this: "Zombies have overrun pop culture and are feasting on our collective consciousness. Seek vengeance: watch 101 zombie death scenes on the big screen." It was well edited and delightfully gruesome... Watching the film re-ignited my passion for zombie movies, so you can guess what I'll be spending my time doing in the next little while.

Other noteworthy installations included "Green Invaders, 2012" (a light installation inspired by the iconic 80s 'Space Invaders' video game), "Outsiders2012, 2012" (an interaction installation featuring life-sized human forms appearing to be made out of saran wrap that were passed around the city all night), "Tower of Progress, 2004 & 2012" (a 16-foot sculpture by Laurent Gagnon built from parts of discarded machines), and a very cool video light installation in Nathan Phillips Square that featured interwoven clips of jellyfish, galaxies, and atomic bombs.

To finish off our evening, The Vamp and I headed to our fav midtown watering hole: The 3 Brewers. We had some delicious nachos and a pitcher of their *exceptional* tasting (and reasonably priced) home-brewed amber ale. If you haven't visited The 3 Brewers yet, we highly recommend that you do!!!

Please enjoy these photos of our Nuit Blanche 2012 escapades (below). :-)

"Green Invaders, 2012" by Yves Caizergues (Lyon, France).


Lady Gaga window display at the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC).
Close-up of Lady Gaga display at HBC.
Old City Hall at night. 

UFO landing pad, a.k.a. New City Hall at night.
Video light installation in Nathan Phillips Square.
Another view of Old City Hall from Nathan Phillips Square. 
Brewing equipment @The 3 Brewers (Yonge & Dundas).
Display @The 3 Brewers showing artifacts found during site excavation.

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