I like the idea of the Nuit Blanche celebration. While the common view of the art space is that of a white, occasionally esoteric one, Nuit Blanche is fueled by the desire to turn that view around. The event has something to share with everyone. It truly encourages the celebration of culture, in an way that you can easily get amped up about. It promotes the arts – local and beyond, and encourages people to get outdoors and spend an evening on the town as pedestrians.
It’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of the night. The noise, excitement and energy vibrates around you and makes it hard keep focused. I got swallowed by the bright lights, video projections and dance music. While I only managed to make it to three of the sites on my already very narrowed down list, the night was a success.
First Stop: Turn On a Dime hosted at Citizen Vintage.
The performance was put on by the ten members of Collectif Beaux Enfants. The group sat in formal wear at the dinner table eating, chatting and watching the audience watch them through the window front. The group of ten seemed quite relaxed with one man lying on a bench as the others poked at their food on the table. The audience had access to headphones that fed through the microphones stationed inside the store.
I find the act of watching mundane actions somewhat fascinating. By turning a usual ritual into a spectacle, the viewer is allowed a brief moment into another persons behaviors. This aspect of performance is one that I enjoy watching being pushed and prodded. I found it slightly more enjoyable as I have my own neurotic tendencies when eating in public, so kudos to them!
Second Stop: The Postcard Project hosted by Gallery Co
This was Sarah Nesbitt’s second year of The Postcard Project. Last Saturday at Gallery Co people gathered around the benches and tables to chat and craft as a group. The stations were outfitted with glitter, glue, gems, magazines and all sorts of collaging material. The goal of the piece is to engage participants in social media “the old fashion way”.
There were also pre-designed postcards to be sent to Stephen Harper. In hopes of encouraging activism and taking a role in change. Others made cute mementos to share with friends for the sake of crafting. Sarah introduced me to one woman who was making and addressing a postcard for the very first time, definitely a curious moment to share.
Third Stop: Montreal En Lumiere
After having been running for two weeks, I finally made my way down to the site of Montreal En Lumiere. The site was busy and bright as expected. The line ups were too long to get into any of the art installations, but I enjoyed seeing people young and old celebrating. With a roller coaster, ice slide, live music, and installations it would be hard not to. I stayed for a bit of music and took take advantage of the opportunity to roast a sausage downtown.
After a long search and a failed attempt to get to my next event, I called it a night.My biggest complaint about Montreal’s Nuit Blanche is the early close. At the end of it all, I got to check out a few sites, enjoy projections and music with good people. Not much to complain about there. Despite a cold winter, this city never looks as fantastic as it does when it’s lit up and in a light snowfall.
The key to Nuit Blanche is to make a list of the venues and events open past 3am so that when people start turning into pumpkins you can proceed to the next party/exhibit/event. Last year we didn’t finish until 9am – it was truly epic!