“For one sleepless night experience the city transformed by more than 550 artists for Toronto’s fourth annual sunset to sunrise celebration of contemporary art. Discover art in galleries, museums and unexpected places. From churches and grocery stores to chimney stacks and bus stations, choose from more than 132 installations and chart your own path.”
October 3 2009: sunset to sunrise
On June 16 2009, both the city of Toronto and the organizers of “Nuit Blanche” announced the line up of artists and works to be showcased for this year’s “contemporary art thing”.
Toronto will be transformed into a city of art from sunset October 3 2009 to sunrise on October 4 2009. Conceived in Paris in 2002 in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces. It is now widely translated as “sleepless night”. In 2005, the city of Paris contacted the city of Toronto with an invitation to join in on this “contemporary art thing”; in 2006, Toronto officially kicked off “Nuit Blanche”. Toronto was the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model, and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago. At its core, Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour event with a mandate to make contemporary art accessible to large audiences, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space. Nuit Blanche is both a “high art” event and a free populous event that encourages celebration and community engagement. From sunset to sunrise city spaces and neighbourhoods are transformed into temporary exhibitions. Unusual or forbidden spaces become sites of contemporary art open for all-night discovery and rediscovery. Cultural institutions, from museums to galleries to artist run centres, open their doors and offer free access to contemporary art. The everyday is suspended as the city’s landscape is changed to welcome a variety of artistic experiences.
Once again, for the 4th year, unique spaces across the city will be transformed by contemporary art. Jeff Koons’ infamous Rabbit will float high above spectators in the Toronto Eaton Centre. The bunny by New York artist Jeff Koons, represents one of the best known works by an artist now at the height of his power, or at least his market dominance. Even the smallest Koons piece costs well into the millions of dollars.
The Toronto Bus Depot will, for one night only, be the site of a caged, blindfolded grudge match between New York performance artist and fighter Sean ‘El Conquistador’ Leonardo and 20 other men in Battle Royal. As with many things in Nuit Blanche, you’re invited to participate.
In the financial district, veteran conceptual artist and Order of Canada recipient Iain Baxter will gather Toronto media personalities and celebrities to play an all-night version of the iconic real estate game, Monopoly, inside the Toronto Stock Exchange, with real money. At the Sheraton Centre, installation/performance artists FASTWÜRMSwill transform the waterfall atrium, lobby and gardens into a zone of live tableaux and divinatory encounters through iTouch technology
Liberty Village will feature a moving sound installation by Oswaldo Macià, Surrounded in Tears 2004-2009, a composition of a symphony of hundreds of crying voices. Local contemporary performance artist Maria Legault will also perform The Apology Project with the assistance of dozens of paper-bag clad performers who congest a public walkway and personally apologize to everyone who ventures through them for the entire duration of the night.
This year’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche will feature 132 projects by more than 550 artists and curators.