Nuit Blanche 2014 Guide: Performance Anxiety
Torontoist has been acquired by Daily Hive Toronto - Your City. Now. Click here to learn more.


Nuit Blanche 2014 Guide: Performance Anxiety

Area: in and around Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto City Hall.

performance anxiety

As you can guess from the title, the Performance Anxiety zone will be dedicated to durational performance art and all the messiness that goes with it. As curator Heather Pesanti points out, it’s not only people on stage who have anxiety over public attention—we’re all “performers” in our own right. So start your vocal warm-ups now.

Wanwu: Metamorphosis — Bingyi
Nathan Phillips Square – Podium Roof (100 Queen Street West )

Beijing-based artist Bingyi combines visual art with performance art, and plans to turn City Hall into a “a blossoming, breathing, bleeding and exploding painting,” joined by opera singers and the glow of strong green lights placed on the towers.

Highlights: Fingers crossed it makes City Hall more green in policy, after making it literally green.
Warning: Get up close, but also give it some distance to see the full effect.

(Carly Maga)

2YouTopia — Vertical City
Nathan Phillips Square – Parking lot P1, Underground (100 Queen Street West)

For its theatrical performance of YouTopia, Vertical City constructed a self-contained habitat in a structure of pipes and beams that an actor maneuvered without ever touching the ground. (The story that followed was something like Cast Away meets 2001: A Space Odyssey.) In this duration piece inspired by the show, the same structure is used to examine ideas of dystopia and human fragility as one performer spends 12 hours in the physically demanding and isolating space.

Highlights: Schadenfreude.
Warning: It’s the bleakest project we’ve heard of so far.

(Carly Maga)

Dress Rehearsal — Tor Lukasik-Foss
Nathan Phillips Square Loading Dock

Under City Hall, a trio of shadow boxes depict the pre-show preparations artists undertake. The exhibit aims to reveal the intimate, vulnerable moments that occur before performers take the stage.

Highlights: Guessing which boxes contain live performers, and which pre-
recorded material.
Warning: Not as dramatic as your average city council meeting.

(Jamie Bradburn)

HALFLIFE — Shasti O’Leary-Soudant
Nathan Phillips Square

Do you suffer from the “Halflife” virus? A squad of 100 glow-in-the-dark carriers will roam around Nuit, testing volunteers to see if they’re suffering from this contagious new disease.

Highlights: Opportunity to ham it up while playing sick.
Warning: Symptoms may include marker ink on skin and anxiety over joining overall midnight crush at Nathan Phillips Square.

(Jamie Bradburn)

Plan your Nuit Blanche with the help of our guides…


  possibility of everything

  before day break  

  night circus  

  nuit blanche independent arrow  


  Photo by Neal Jennings via Flickr