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.
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.
Nuit Blanche is one long night starting at 7:00pm to early sunrise. Yesterday I went with my friend Taylor. We walked along the streets of Toronto with giant balloon hats on our heads and our cameras around our necks hoping to see something magical. There were more people downtown then I had ever seen before in my life. The sidewalks were full of drunken teens and huge families wanting a long night out. They may not have been there to see the art work at all. I originally thought of using Nuit Blanche for my Photo Montage project for school but chose again after getting aggravated at every single piece of art being more lights.
My favourite place of the night was the All Night Convenience store. The artists created a common corner store filled with two thousand small lanterns inside which were offered for free after waiting in line. You could get anything from a can of pop, to bandaids, to crayola crayons, to matches. During the evening as more people come and go the store will begin to darken until there are no lanterns left.
I just wish the art festival lasted longer then one night, it’s impossible to see it all this way.
You can even find a photograph of myself and Taylor in NOW Magazine taking pictures last night in the Eaton’s Centre: