Thursday, October 07, 2010
Nuit Blanche in Toronto: photo by Michael Ligon
This past Saturday night was the Toronto's fifth annual Nuit Blanche, an all-night contemporary arts festival. I've made it out to every Nuit Blanche except for the inaugural one back in 2006, and this year's one just about the chilliest, but at least the rain held off. I made a conscious effort to try to avoid the crowds as much as possible so I started out in Zone C in Liberty Village and Parkdale before heading west to Downtown Toronto to check out the multitude of installations in Zone B. I've read much criticsm that the quality of this year's installations was not as good as past years and I do agree but at the same time I still felt there was much to be appreciated this year given you went in with an open mind. I read criticisms from people that they thought the multitude of projection-based installations were not 'art' but that whole notion is silly because I think most if not everything I saw during the night was art. I don't pretend to be an expert but my understanding of art is that through whatever medium the artist chooses, he or she is attempting to express some meaning. I guess what people/critics really meant to say was that they'd have preferred less projection-based installations and more of whatever else they may have been expecting and that's a valid preference. Perhaps, the organizers of the event will take that in to consideration for next year's edition. I myself would prefer even more sound installation as the one's I took in this year were interesting. But aside from the quality of the actual installtions, what continues to excite me is the whole concept of seeing these installations in public spaces that are more often than not mundane, presenting the city in a different light as well as providing me an opportunity to see parts of the city I'd never seen up close. So whatever your opinions were of the event, well they're your opinions. I don't see Nuit Blanche escaping its polarizing effect in the future, but in my opinion, Nuit Blanche's ability to provoke discussion, good or bad, is one of the things which is going to draw crowds to the event for years to come.
Photos: Nuit Blanche, Toronto (October 3, 2010)