Photo by Qehven from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
If “free contemporary art things” happen to be your thing, then chances are you were one of the 425,000 people wandering around at last year’s inaugural Nuit Blanche. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this year, it’s back this Saturday night—with a vengeance. Boasting 123 museums and over 150 projects, teamed with all night subway on certain routes and txtArt allowing “audio experiences” on your cell phone, this year’s promises to be even more exhilarating than last’s.
As with last year, the art exhibits aren’t fully whole until the audience shows up and makes it their own, so it’s hard to pick which exhibits will stand out above the rest. But we here at Torontoist will give you our picks-with-the-most-potential after the jump.
BY KAREN WHALEY
Click here to download a .pdf of the full Zone A map.
We never pass up the opportunity to visit the mysterious Lower Bay TTC Station. Kristen Roos is presenting a sound installation entitled The Ghost Station (entrance at Cumberland Street) that will examine the relation between low-frequency infrasonic noise and paranormal activity beneath the city streets.
Annie MacDonell is presenting an installation in Room 066 of the Faculty of Architecture Building (30 College Street). Aurora Readiness Centre is a recreation of Toronto’s official nuclear fallout shelter as it would have looked in 1962 at the height of Cold War tension.
Have something to get off your chest? Spill your secrets to Todd Julie and Jesse Ewles at the Secular Confession Booth (Toronto Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Avenue). Perhaps have them sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Nightless City might be this year’s Fog (aka. the misty Philosopher’s Walk). Church Street is being closed off from Wellesley to Alexander Street to be converted into a ‘red light district’. Red lights and mist will flood the streets as artists celebrate the history of prostitution. It is the world’s oldest profession, as they say. Or is that priests?
Rising Canadian fashion designers are presenting a group fashion show at the Bloor Street United Church (300 Bloor Street West) called the Art of Fashion.
Torontoist writer Kevin Bracken and his partner in crime, Lori Kufner, form the interactive public art group Newmindspace. They have organized String of Diamonds, an installation of hundreds of white lights on the Trinity College Field (Southwest of the ROM).
While The Word On The Street will actually be taking place on Sunday, the folks at WOTS are teaming up with the folks from Diaspora Dialogues to organize Night, city, dream: a story in Queen’s Park (North end). You the Toronto citizen are invited to add sentences or found objects to the ongoing history of the city.
What’s a djembe? Find out as BOOM! leads an all-night drum circle as part of From the Ground Up at the Gardiner Ceramic Museum (111 Queen’s Park). We participated in this event last year and finally understood what all those Mont-Royal Park hippies in Montreal are smoking—pure rhythm, baby.
BY AMANDA BUCKIEWICZ
There are even more exhibition venues East of Yonge Street. Click here to download a .pdf of the full Zone B map.
The information hub in this zone is a 50’s themed car-free drive-in. Popcorn, chick flicks, and knowledge? Oh yeah. It’s on McCaul street, just south of OCAD.
Tunnels, forts, and chambers made out of balloons! What more can we say? At Balloonscape, people can climb inside and even add to the inflated structure. It’s at the Trinity Way, Level 3 entrance of the Toronto Eaton Centre.
The AGO (317 Dundas Street West) will be closing on October 8 for eight months to reinstall their galleries, so they’re using Nuit Blanche as an excuse to throw an End of the Party Party. This is bound to be a going-away party you won’t soon forget.
Bring a swimsuit, towel, and flip flops to the Steamwhistle brewery (225 Bremner Boulevard) to enjoy this Russian Steam Banya (Russian steam bath) while watching Russian art videos and animation.
Create your own cloud and watch as it drifts across the sky for It’s A Cloud at the Yonge and Dundas entrance of the Toronto Eaton Centre.
Photograph the city from the top of the city for CN Tower’s Wonderful Nuit. Don’t forget to submit them on-line to become a part of this wonderful project. Limited registration at www.cntower.ca/nuitblanche.
It’s a dumpster diver’s paradise in the alley behind College and Spadina. ThunderEgg presents a five-star resort for garbage pickers including a spa, tanning salon, and cardboard box boutique.
BY AMANDA BUCKIEWICZ AND KAREN WHALEY
And this is only half the exhibition venues in Zone C. Click here to download a .pdf of the full Zone C map.
This time the Information hub is an urban camp-out! All you have to bring is a sleeping bag to enjoy an all-night gabfest filled with board games and scary movies at Trinity Bellwoods Park.
Parkour is the French art of jumping from building to building. Sound intriguing? Gallery 1313 and the Parkdale BIA are presenting two Parkour demonstrations by pkto: The Gateway (starts at the Dufferin and Queen Street West bridge) and another in the Town Square (Cowan and Queen Street West).
Noboru Tsubaki and Hishashi Muroi are installing a giant inflatable Locust in Lamport Stadium (1151 King Street West). They had us at giant inflatable locust.
Craig Walsh presents Incursion, where the Great Hall Storefront Window (1087 Queen Street West) turns into a giant aquarium, complete with prehistoric fish.
Falling down in the middle of the road just got cushier. CAMH (1100 Queen Street West) has paved an asphalt road with carpet for Secrets of the Syncope II at the corner of Queen West and Shaw Street.
Remember making yarn pom-poms at summer camp? The Knit Café (1050 Queen Street West) is leading The Late Great Pom-Pom Exchange for the crafty girl (or boy) scout in all of us.
Shimmy on down to Hot Spot at Engine Gallery (1112 Queen Street West), an all-night Salsa dance party evoking Columbia’s current political crisis. If you can’t dance, don’t worry—there will be lessons. Ages 14+ because of mature content.
The Works & Emergency Services Building (1116 King Street West) is the venue for Insomnosonic, an all-night concert with performances by Kids On TV (7:00–8:30 p.m.), Holyfuck (9:00–10:30 p.m.), NIFTY (11:00 p.m.–12:30 a.m.), Polmo Polpo (1:00–2:00 a.m.), Wyrd Visions (2:30–3:30 a.m.), and Nadja (4:00–7:00 a.m.).
Hop on a swing and discover your dreams at the Wish Swing. It’ll be at the north side of Stanley Park (845 King Street West). Wheeeee!
Off The Wall is an interactive group video installation where “the public can project themselves onto the big screen; become a performer, a spectator, a star.” Your Reality TV debut will be projected onto the wall of the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (1001 Queen Street West). How appropriate.