Oct 19, 2010

Nuit Blanche 2010. Post factum.

Royal Conservatory of Music. Image copyright kkopanygin.

I’ve been going to Nuit Blanche since it started in 2005. I was very much impressed with the first installment – I can still remember walking through UofT in the dark (and cold) and touring the MARS building with an absinth cocktail in hand. And then the next year it was a little less exiting, and even less the year after… Nuit Blanche was slowly deteriorating into a free-for-all night out – no art involved.

This year I’ve been very reluctant to even venture out of the house. I didn’t want to get disappointed, I wanted to remember Nuit Blanche at it used to be – a night full of art and exploration. But the plans have changes last minute and I met Capa at her house on College and Ossington. We were well-prepared – warm clothing, walking shoes, two plastic bottle with vodka and really bad red wine.

We’ve started West on College and then South on a side street all the way down to Gladstone. The idea was to walk East on Queen and then up Spadina to UofT and ROM… We’ve followed through with the plan but grew more and more disappointed – Nuit Blanche 2010 definitely was the worst to date.

To begin with, hordes of teenagers were roaming the streets. They couldn’t care less about the exhibits, it’s the opportunity to stay up late that was attractive. Queen street was so crowded that it was hard to walk through it, every bar and coffee shop was packed to the rim, and it was hard to see what was going on in the venues. Not that there was anything worth seeing… We kept walking hoping to find something exiting, something that would “wow” us. No luck – most of the things looked like high-school art projects.

Nuit Blanche at the Gladstone looked like a typical Come Up To My Room event – a bunch of rooms done up by a bunch of independent artists, and no way to interpret what on Earth they were trying to say with their installations. The Drake looked cool with videogames projected on its façade, but we didn’t bother standing in a huge line to look inside. Everything else wasn’t even worth mentioning, with the exception of the Royal Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory is new and beautiful, with very promising acoustics (Roy Thomson, beware!) and visual and sound installation by Philip Beesley Architects was somewhat interesting and memorable.

I am hoping that next year Toronto will see a better selection of local artists. It may be wise for the organizers to impose stricter rules for participants, have less exhibits and zones, put quality over quantity. One can only hope…

Text by Fira. Images by Capa.
Gladstone Hotel & Fira. Image copyright kkopanygin.

Image copyright kkopanygin.

Drake Hotel. Image copyright kkopanygin.

Trinity Bellwood Park. Image copyright kkopanygin.

Coupe Bizzarre Hairdressing. Image copyright kkopanygin.

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