When asked to recap Nuit Blanche the next morning it often comes to me like an impressionist painting to an artist–I remember the colours, the gist, and the movement, but the factual detail is blurry. A free all-night contemporary art event that is sponsored by Scotiabank, Nuit Blanche runs from 6:59PM to sunrise (approximately 7AM). In full discretion, I have never made it past 4AM, not because of exhaustion but mostly because of the cold. Many people complain about the disorganization of the (free) event–but are we really in a position to complain (most likely on free services such as Facebook or Twitter) about it? Sure, there is room for improvement. Perhaps Nuit Blanche is the opportunity that lands on our door step, allowing us to take matters into our own hands.
There were two very distinct events / exhibitions that I visited this year that left an inspirational imprint:
1. The Feast of Trimalchio (2009-2011) by EAS+F Group, Moscow, Russia. This rotunda style exhibit featured 9 HD screens that enclosed the audience in an intimate outdoor setting. Inspired by ‘Satyricon’ (by Gaius Petronius Arbiter), Trimalchio paints a vivid moving picture filled with 21st century luxuries and classist behaviours. Unnaturally poetic, this three part piece is transformational and uncanny; allowing the audience to observe the translating roles of the ‘Masters’ and the ‘Servants’. Visually, Trimlachio is evocative of Renaissance paintings–the composition, the saturated colours, and the emphasis on the body and its surroundings. The piece itself is quite erotic with an undeniable musical fluidity.
The Feast of Trimalchio is a modern masterpiece.
2. The Gladstone Hotel never fails to impress me. This year Fly By Night offered many performances, exhibits, and a good time. The newly renovated Melody Bar was hopping with live music. Specifically, Lemon Bucket Orkestra kept the party going with its Eastern European tunes–they are a personal favourite gem that never fails to get the crowd riled up.
My favourite experience in the Gladstone was in Room 214. As you walked up to the door two curtains blocked the door frame. You stood and waited. Suddenly, the curtains flew open and inside was a random group of people (fellow Nuit Blanche visitors) having a great time, happy to see you, and dancing away to loud music. This experience encapsulated the exact moment of a party entrance and how one feels when walking into a really great house party. Room 214 was a party that you never wanted to leave.
What were some of your favourite Nuit Blanche moments?