Our zone guide gives you Nuit Blanche highlights for every part of the city.
Subtitled “The New Coordinates of the Americas,” exhibits in the HTUOS/HTRON zone seek to invert the traditional political, spacial, and even temporal relationships between North and South America.
Curator Agustin Pérez Rubio has brought together a diverse team of multi-disciplinary artists to challenge our preconceived notions of polarization between the regions. Head from the University of Toronto and College Street over to Carlton and Jarvis to take part in the pan-American journey.
Sphinx, 2015 – Luis Jacob
Peruvian artist Luis Jacob has spent his career examining how viewers interact with and inform their observed environments. He’s chosen his adopted hometown as the inspiration for his latest installation, compiling a diverse library of publications written about Toronto over the last 50 years. Supervising readers is the titular sphinx: an oversized, headless sculpture of a male youth who “views” the world through a frame formed by his fingers.
Highlights: Explore 50 years of the city’s printed history.
Warning: Revisit 50 years of missed transit opportunities.
Zero Hour, 2015 – Public Studio and Etel Adnan
Like seasons of America’s Next Top Model, apocalyptic prophecies always return in cycles. With Zero Hour, the Toronto-based collaborative art and architecture practice Public Studio and Lebanese artist Etel Adnan have located a unifying theme in our species’ ever-evolving fantasies of the world’s end: a struggle against an outside force that leads to environmental devastation. Their work is poem/video hybrid piece projected on an overhead dome, depicting current weather patterns and climactic disturbances taking place in the southern hemisphere.
Highlights: A weather-proof remedy for anyone still upset about the Super Blood Moon’s cloud cover.
Warning: Not for the overly anxious.
Untitled, 2015 – Tania Bruguera
Tania Bruguera is a social activist and performance artist currently being held without legal representation in Cuba. She was arrested during a December 2014 attempt to perform an art piece in Havana’s Revolution Square. Despite her government’s ongoing attempt to silence her voice, Brugera has exhibited in the Tate Modern, the Venice Biennale, and been the recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Her project for the festival is a mystery that won’t be unveiled until the night of the event.
Highlights: An incredible opportunity to access the vision of an activist artist who refuses to compromise.
Warning: None—be sure to see it.
Humanitarian Aid for the First World, 2015 – Colectivo Cambalache
International aid is a one-sided process: transferred resources come accompanied with a variety of strings attached, as well as the lingering heft of colonial power dynamics. To invert this process and offer a “southern perspective on disaster capitalism,” Colectivo Cambalache suggests that the Western world is facing its own humanitarian crisis: one of consumerism, isolation, apathy, and depression. The collective invites the city to a night of humanitarian bartering, where visitors can exchange an special object that is handmade or has spiritual value for a handmade object created especially for Nuit Blanches by co-ops and collectives located in Western Sahara refugee camps and Huila, Colombia.
Highlights: Forge a tangible connection with someone on the opposite side of the world.
Warning: Take it seriously, please. No one wants your Niagara Falls souvenir shot glass.
Time of the Empress, 2012– Aziz + Cucher
A city’s architecture bears witness to the shifts in values of its residents. Aziz + Cuchet (a life and work partnership between Lima-born Sammy Cucher and Massachusetts’ Anthony Aziz) have created a beautiful light projection that exemplifies this idea by suspending modernist buildings in infinite loops of construction and disintegration.
Highlights: Meditate on the fleeting present as the steady stream of traffic on Bloor street passes you by.
Warning: Or look on their works, ye mighty, and despair.