All-night outdoor art festival Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, held this year on October 4, is an annual fall highlight. Each year it gets bigger and bigger, spreading its delights from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wondering what to see, we have you covered. Here are the best bets from each area.
Downtown West: The Possibility of Everything
This area covers Spadina Avenue from College Street to Queen Street West, and then east along Queen to University Avenue. Curated by Dominique Fontaine, this exhibition will question how we use our public spaces.
*Made in China
This beautiful and overwhelmed artwork is made of clothes labeled “made in China”. It will be installed in an empty alley between two buildings in Chinatown, as a representation of the bridge between East and West, globalization and tradition.
This rainbow will be created with lasers, beamed in an arc of up to 60 kilometres high. Audiences will be able to see this representation of social diversity from all exhibition areas.
Conveying the idea of losing yourself to find yourself, Amaze is a labyrinth built from ordinary city objects: scaffolding. Go ahead, get lost.
Downtown South: The Night Circus
This area runs along Bremner Boulevard between York and Spadina, and on Spadina between Wellington and Bremner. Inspired by Erin Morgenstern’s book The Night Circus, curator Denise Markonish promises spectacles of magic and delight.
The Fortune Teller Machine
Enter the custom-designed caravan of a coven of artist Witches to have your fortune told by way of crystal ball, tarot cards, and astrology.
The Melodious Malfeasance Meat-Grinding Machine
With the new season of American Horror Story upon us, this exhibit is quite timely. Expect to be delightfully creeped out by this gyspy caravan adorned with butcher tools, offering a glimpse inside at the gypsy butcher preparing meats, representing the haunting intersection of human and animal.
*Big Top Grand Stand
An homage to the bright lights and colours of the circus, this big top is built on a 16-foot flatbed trailer, rising high up into the night sky.
City Hall: Performance Anxiety
These projects will be set up around Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto City Hall. Curator Heather Pesanti has devoted this exhibit to performance art.
Performers will dance, twist, and climb on an immense tangled structure, navigating a world defined by fragility and chaos.
Phrases Toward Rephrase
Representing the human ability to both construct and be destructive, performers will actually dismantle their exhibit throughout the night.
Sci-fi comes alive in this exhibit, which has glowing “carriers” running amok throughout the city, “testing” participants for a fictional halflife virus. A reflection on fear in society and apocalyptic imagination – Don Delillo might be proud.
Fort York: Before Day Breaks
Set up in Fort York, along Fort York Boulevard between Spadina and Strachan, curator Magda Gonzalez-Mora has selected exhibits that invite reflection on contemporary history, especially Canada’s claim to pluralistic living.
This maze is designed as a map of the human brain. While wandering through, the audience is invited to reflect on how humans interact.
This interactive exhibit questions the nature of choice and free will. Audiences are invited to walk through free-standing doors, each time revealing another door to choose from. A screen will track the selections made throughout the night demonstrate the patterns of participants.
Using a historical element of the Fort (the cannons) to evoke the memories of the city’s past, Melting Point will pour out colourful light and the sound of waves until morning.
*These exhibits will be extended through to October 13.
(Photos courtesy of City of Toronto)