Nuit Blanche: Toronto’s creative side pulls an all-nighter

From dusk to dawn, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche cast a creative spell over Toronto for the fourth consecutive year. The all-night festival of contemporary art brought together a multitude of artists and their creations for all to celebrate and explore.

One Nuit Blanche highlight was The Toronto Free Gallery (TFG) which hosted an installation by artist Tad Hozumi entitled ‘Know You Got.’ Twenty performance artists dancing to funk and soul music enticed people off Saturday’s rain-soaked streets, inviting them to become a part of the artistic process.

‘Know You Got’ was a playful take on Marina Abramovic’s 1977 art piece, Imponderabilia, merged with the glitter and style of Soul Train.

The purpose of the installation was to create a space where outsiders could disturb the intimate relationship between those creating the art.

“When you enter a gallery space, you usually think of yourself as the spectator, watching something happen,” said Hozumi. “But with this, you become trapped in space where you are actually on showcase and you’re the artwork.”

Maiko Tanaka, producer of the TFG believes Nuit Blanche is an immense opportunity for artists to display their work in unconventional ways.

“Nuit Blanche pushes the envelope because it’s so contemporary,” said Tanaka. “Going to a gallery to look at paintings on a wall isn’t conducive for this kind of all-night participatory event. It helps artists get exposure, through actual contemporary artworks as opposed to traditional notions of art.”

Additional installations included Dan Mihaltianu’s romantically intoxicating ‘Vodka Pool,’ where viewers congregated around a pool of alcohol juxtaposing the relationship between liquor and economic liquidity.

Ryerson University also hosted a number of projects, including ‘Paris de Nuit: In Praise of Shadows,’ and ‘Illuminating Fashion as Art.’

Ryerson’s school of fashion presented several mannequins fashioned by artistic garments by artists Lucian Matis, Kat Marks and Jocelyn Tang.

The mannequins were surrounded by a sequence of videos and live music, seemingly inspired by Floria Sigismondi’s 2001 Come Part Mental exhibit.

Despite the cloud, wind and rain, a total of 550 artists combined to pull off the ultimate all-nighter: 12 hours of interactive creativity scattered over 132 projects throughout downtown Toronto.