Our zone guide gives you Nuit Blanche highlights for every part of the city.
Hey, Nuit Blanche ain’t for everyone. After all, it can be a sensory-overload clusterfuck that quickly morphs you into disgruntled muttering about drunken teenagers as you shuffle off to the next exhibit. And even if you do choose to go all out, navigating through the hordes to find that next overpacked streetcar leaves little time for looking at art. Thankfully, the festival has chosen to extend several projects until October 12th to be viewed at your (sober) leisure.
Below, we profile your best bets.
Nuit Talks: Putting the extra-in-ordinary, 2011- JR
Semi-anonymous Parisian street artist JR has been given an entire zone of the city for the festival, so it’s fitting that we get to learn a little more about this enigmatic figure. This series of short films and documentaries provide insight into his incredible career, which has included painting an entire slum in Rio to collaborating with Madonna and Stephen Colbert.
Highlights: See the world though JR’s eyes, and hopefully become inspired to add some of your own renegade creativity to your surroundings.
Warning: JR’s prone to really French speeches on the relationship between life and art.
Inside Out, 2011 – 2015 – JR
JR’s ongoing participatory art project—that seeks to “change the world” by turning it “inside out”—has travelled to more than 120 countries and included more than 250,000 people. Starting Sept. 28, you too can be another face in the crowd.
Highlights: Look upon thousands of your fellow Torontonians.
Warning: Immortalize your bad hair day for the world to see.
Beaufort 12: Black Cloud, 2007 – Carlos Amorales
Amorales’ site-specific, travelling installation rearranges 30,000 hand-cut black paper moths into a swarming pattern. For his Toronto stop, the Power Plant’s clerestory is the site of the infestation.
Highlights: Find beauty in the most unlikely place.
Warning: The project’s official description says it best: “The almost surreal yet frightening imagery of this fleet of insects creates a mysterious and oppressive atmosphere.”
Silent Knight, 2015 – Ekow Nimako
In another testament to ridiculous artistic patience, Ekow Nimako’s tribute to the endangered Ontario barn owl was sculpted using more than 50,000 Lego pieces. Those who share Nimako’s concern for the natural environment should be sure to return to the Gardiner the following week for the opening of Kent Monkman: The Rise and Fall of Civilization on Oct. 15.
Highlights: Legoland’s entire business model is structured around giant Lego sculptures being really cool.
Warning: Choking hazard.
Michael Howatson took notes from Norse mythology when crafting his installation, an enclosed space that reflects and warps the image of those who enter. According to legend, Mimir’s Well was the spot where Odin sacrified an eye in exchange for sacred knowledge, but Howatson only promises the possibility of an “introspective moment” inside his recreation.
Highlights: Strong selfie opportunities guaranteed.
Warning: Your reflection at 5 a.m. might not look so hot.
This article originally stated Ekow Nimako is from Japan. This is not the case, and we regret the error.