Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nuit Blanche 2010

Best Nuit Blanche ever!
Started out at the Kent Monkman Iskootao show as I wanted him to sign his book, The TRIUMPH OF MISS CHIEF. As you can see from the link, a used copy is selling for $1,145, and that's unsigned. Not that I would ever sell it though. Art is worth more than money.
We got there a bit early as I was hoping to catch him setting up and flag him over to sign the book. We asked and were told he'd be there between 8 and 10 depending on the crowd. D'oh.
We went over to the ROM to see 20,000 Species? We asked as we couldn't find it and the description said "High up in the historic Red Oak tree in front of the ROM". The Nuit Blanche people said it was inside, so we waited for about 20 minutes in line, went in and saw Crossing which was people projected on the side of the ROM and not worth raising a camera for and heard XXIX which was people singing together on a video in 29 different languages and not worth even sticking our head in for one second.
Once inside there were blankets made of liquor bottle caps. No photos allowed. It looked like they took a LOT of work but ultimately not very satisfying.
We had a quick dinner, I was out-voted and we went to Taco Bell. I've learned you can't eat crap food and still walk around, so I had a snack size sandwich only, but Sarah has not learned and had like 4 tacos and fries supreme, ensuring she would be limping behind us for the rest of the night. And the minx shared her fries with me! Foul temptress!
From there we waited in line about 15 minutes for KortuneFookie, a huge fortune cookie that is interactive, you can write fortunes for it online. I kept guessing mine would be "You will find disappointment in a cookie" but instead it was "Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, 'Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.'" Which I thought was rather stupid.
Everyone was talking all these pictures of themselves with the cookie which held up the line considerably, so I decided I would too.

Lynn's dauther Key-something with the cookie.

From there we walked past Monument to Smile (Michael Jackson singing 'Smile' and more photos on a wall I didn't bother photographing) and went back over to Kent Monkman and there was now a HUGE crowd gathered. I was able to find us an amazing spot right up front, we had to nearly fall in a water fountain to get there, but it was worth it. After about another 30 minute wait he appeared!
She was dressed in full native/drag and beat a drum over a pulsing piece of the Canadian shield, representing a new mother earth, in drag form. Watching her dancing and drumming in huge heels and everyone clapping and moving along, that was cool. Unfortunately I mostly had a view of his back, but at least we were REALLY close, and no one could stand behind us because of the water.

This is the best photo I took, as she was making her departure. I was kind of reaching for the book at that time....

But Lynn's daughter took this amazing photo and I am forever grateful.

Afterward I snuck around back and found her tent and stuck first my head, and then the book through the hole and he signed it! I was so happy, like on cloud nine, I had to stop afterward to collect myself. Lynn's dauther was like "Would you like a picture with him?" and I was like "How? Get him to stick his head through the hole in the tent in full drag?" So that didn't work.

A short walk from there was our longest wait of the night, about 45 minutes, and Interactive landscape Dune at Lower Bay Station. I had wanted to see this FOREVER, well ever since I heard there was a dis-used subway station underneath Bay Street. There's apparently another unfinished one under Queen Street btw. Unfortunately they had parked subways on either side of the tunnel for the exhibit so we couldn't see much of the actual station.
I know the photo below is out of focus but it best represents what we saw in the exhibit.

Light sticks that somehow interacted with people, as you walked by they lit up. You were encouraged to run up and down the row and the lights would follow you. Here with the full flash to hide the darkness is Lynn's daughter doing just that.

I took this photo as we were leaving, a sign indicating Bay Station as 'Upper Bay'.

When we left we were already on the subway and had magically gotten in without paying, so we hoped on and went down to King Street with about a million other people.
The first thing we saw was Endgame (Coulrophobia), the squished clowns head between two buildings, which had gotten big press coverage for some reason and was just weird.

Next was the one we wanted to see, 1850, which was to show a recreation of the former Lake Ontario shoreline from 1850 with an "array of lights projecting an immersive wash of blue". What we got instead was a blue/black light with a bunch of people standing in front of it like it was a rave. Although "impromptu rave" would have probably worked as an installation too.

From there up Yonge St to The Task. The concept was a man moves 15 tonnes of bricks from one side of the lot to the other side and back over the course of the night. We saw him move one brick. I think he was ahead of schedule or something.

Back east to The Next Community. This sounded cool, a machine would take photos of people and digitally mix them up so that the resulting photo would be a combination of all the people's photos.
There were problems however:
1) 15 minute line to get your photo taken
2) The projection was like in an alleyway between two buildings and you could barely see it. Look in the photo, it's WAY at the top:

3) The resulting photo had no mouth.
All this said, the resulting photo's eyes did look Asian.
From there we went over to I Cried For You, which I had been discussing as a highlight of the evening. Over the course of a 10 minute "audition", a "director" asks you to make yourself cry. Would I be able to do it? I have no idea, and neither does anyone else as when we got there the place was set up but deserted.
Over to Arrivals/Departures, a huge chalk board where people write either where they're coming from or where they're going. I was impressed at the size of the chalk board.

Here's a close up.

Starting back home we passed The Bus House Collective, which was: "Bus shelters will be transformed info comfy, interactive environments that question traditional ideas of infrastructure, home, and public space." This was the best one:

As we passed Yonge/Dundas square I spotted Trevor Boris and shoved Sarah over to him so we could get a group photo.

An exhibit called Just because you can feel it, doesn't mean it's there was just a big fire in the middle of Yonge/Dundas square.

I have no idea how it could be called art, but it was a cold night so the fire was nice.
We walked past Nuit Market Starring the Toronto Weston Flea Market but there was a HUGE line to get it and we didn't feel like waiting in line for a flea market at 1 am.
Our final stop was Happy Birthday to _____________! which was a bunch of people signing Happy Birthday to You every 15 minutes. We thought they'd be miserable but they were still happy, with huge smiles on their faces.
From there we were too tired to continue. A great night!

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