October 8, 2010

It’s been running for half a decade and getting bigger every year. Once again, Nuit Blanche was an exasperating twelve hour journey into a heart of contemporary art in all its shades. In keeping with the festive banner year for the event, Vesna Jocic and Jennifer Davis hosted Happy Birthday to _______! Those lucky enough to have a birthday on October 2nd or 3rd were treated to a round of birthday cheer and cake. Fifteen minutes later, someone else born on the same day as you took a seat at the birthday table. “You say it’s your birthday, it’s my birthday too, yeah!”–I’ve never heard the Beatles song so freely invoked.

Some other highlights of the night included Zilvinas Kempinas’s Big O. This is a minimalist piece with only two material elements: magnetic tape and electric fans. The fans keep the looped tape in play as a big, amorphous circle. What else? Gerald Ferguson’s One Million Pennies is a real icon of Canadian conceptualism. I enjoyed seeing the massive heap of one cent pieces at U of T—although I wouldn’t count on the fact that there was exactly $10,000 worth of pennies in the pile. Many were making wishes and flipping their own change into the mound.

Happy Birthday to Nuit Blanche

The record-breaking mosaic of Rubik’s Cube was really cool. Over 12,000 cubes were carefully assembled to recreate the Sistine Chapel moment of God and Adam touching index fingers. Atom Egoyan’s piece at the new TIFF Bell Lightbox was perplexing to watch. The famed Canadian filmmaker tipped his hat to Federico Fellini’s Otto e mezzo by featuring eight and a half projections. The baffling thing was that these loops were emanating from one 35mm projector. I don’t know how he did it. Did anyone have the stamina to make it out to the fifth annual all-nighter? What were some favorite pieces from the event? 

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