Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

by reneemichellestephens

As my first year of attending the 8th Annual Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto, I was amazed to say the least by the outstanding number of people of whom attended the over-night event: youth of all ages, elderly, tourists, pets, children, etc. As a first timer, it was confusing knowing where to go, what to see first, what to see next, whether we should walk or take public transit, all of that being said it was a little overwhelming. Of course, I had made my way over to Nathan Phillips Square to find Ai Wei Wei’s Forever Bicycles, which was surprisingly smaller than I expected (even though it was huge, for some reason I thought it was much, much larger). The sculpture made up of 3144 bicycles appeared as a beautiful flower with coloured lights which shone from within it. Within the over-populated downtown core this piece was the centre of attention yet it featured  some interesting conceptual pieces on the side. Crashing Cars by Alain Duclercq and A rose is without why by Boris Archour provided a bit of confusion and critical thought along side the spectacle of bicycles. I didn’t really get to see all that much. I saw the pieces that were at OCADU and the AGO as well as Garden Tower by Tadashi Kawamata.

Some interesting things that I did not know about Nuit Blanche is that I have to wait in line in order to see the artworks. I felt more like I was at a carnival or theme park than at an art show. I did not have the patience to stand in the line ups of over 100 people for each artwork, so I suppose I lucked out in that sense, but really, I was there until 1:00am and I only saw about 10 pieces of art, seriously. There was so much to see that was spread out all over the city (rather far might I add) that I couldn’t bother with wondering to the far edges of the downtown core. To get through the crowds of drunk people was difficult enough, I wasn’t prepared to trek along the sidewalks of puke to wait in line for 40 minutes any longer. 

Besides all of my complaining, the art that I did see was spectacular, and I think that it is great that the city of Toronto does something to get the public interested in art (even if it is just for one night).