Nuit Blanche T.O. amazes & inspires

Had a blast wandering the night and checking out the Nuit Blanche Parade exhibits and others with my good pal Lizzie Violet. I’ve included some highlights of the evening below.

What turned you on at Nuit Blanche this year?

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The Queen of the Parade, by Lisa Anita Wegner & Vanessa Lee Wishart. Multi-media artist/performer Lisa Anita Wegner, as the Queen, waves to the crowd from atop a 20-foot high gown.
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The Queen of the Parade – gown detail.
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Tortoise, by Michel de Broin. One of a series of assemblage sculptures made from picnic tables outside Campbell House. You could smell the cedar on this pleasantly cool fall evening. Warm cider was served there as well.
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Music Box, by John Dickson. A kinetic sculpture of musical instruments, creating eerie, otherworldly sounds all based on parts moving against each other.
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Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles installation at Nathan Phillips Square.
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Forever Bicycles installation with Toronto City Hall in the background.
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Ferris Wheel, by Katharine Harvey.
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Parallax, by Idea Design Collective. A luminous, beehive-like effect – all done with cardboard tubes and light.
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(X)Static Clown Factory, by Ruth Spitzer & Claire Ironside. An interactive performance installation, where folks were invited to come up and do the clowns’ work. I think peeps got paid in balloons.
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Woman in the crowd with neon light hula hoop.
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There is an elephant in the truck, an indie installation by Laurence Vallières. Another impressive piece done with cardboard.
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Hybrid Globe, by Arthur Wrigglesworth, Mohammad Mehdi Ghiyaei & Mojtaba Samimi.
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Ad Astra, one of three indie projects by [R]ed[U]ux Lab at the Bata Shoe Museum.
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RevitaLight – another piece utilizing cardboard – at Bata Shoe Museum.
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Light_Scape, an interactive light installation at Bata Shoe Museum.
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On the way to Artscape Wychwood Barns, we encountered this sculpture artist at work on Bloor Street West. He uses only centre of gravity and balance to build these pieces.
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Yep, that’s a concrete block balancing on top. And set on fire to great effect.
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An assistant moves a piece on Chess Set, by Blandford Gates, an indie installation at Artscape Wychwood Barns.
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Chess players Tomas Krnan (L) and Peter Vavrak (R) play blindfolded, giving verbal instructions to their respective assistants to move pieces on the board. And having to remember where every piece is.

Wandering the night in Toronto – Nuit Blanche 2012

From 7 p.m. till sunrise, Toronto celebrated arts, culture and entertainment all night long.

Dancers at the Rivoli
Musicians at the Rivoli

Here are some images and impressions from the evening. Janis and I missed Dr. Draw at the Rivoli, as he was running late and we had friends to meet, but we did see a group of dancers and a pair of musicians out on the front patio stage.

Palm Authority installation
Light and sound installation at City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square
Looking out from City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square

After the Rivoli, we met up with Lizzie and Leah at Shanghai Cowgirl for a late dinner before heading out into the downtown core, where we saw several art installations, including some work at City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square.

Sound wave drawing – Bata Shoe Museum
Sound wave drawing – Bata Shoe Museum

We made our way north, through the UofT campus and stopped by the Bata Shoe Museum, where we saw this neat sound wave drawing that wrapped around the entire room.

Artscape Wychwood Barns, Barn #2 ceiling
Artscape Wychwood Barns – Small Audiences marquee, featuring Lizzie Violet’s poetry set

From there, we took the subway and streetcar up to Artscape Wychwood Barns – Barn #2, where we saw a solo performance of a section of Fifty Monologues – Ghosts, a collection of female monologues from Shakespeare by actor Rebecca Singh. This was part of Theatre Local’s Small Audiences program – inside the smallest theatre space in the city: http://theatrelocal.org/category/works/small-audiences/

After a coffee and snack break, we went back into the space to see Lizzie’s horror poetry set, The Undead Night. Reading three of the zombie series pieces (attack, transformation and pursuit), as well as pieces about other undead creatures, like “Corpse Flower,” and the darkly comic “My Mother Thinks I’m A Serial Killer,” Lizzie’s work is raw, visceral and sometimes disturbing, yet beautifully written – and even sometimes funny.

After that, we were done and made our ways home. To bed. I’d made it till 4 a.m. and by the time I schlepped home on the all-night TTC service, it was 5:15 a.m.

A great evening of art and friends, with lots of walking. And coffee. If you ever get a chance to venture out for Nuit Blanche – do. There’s lots to see and places to go – some more crowded than others – and it’s a great adventure.