“Wow! Boxes!” cooed the crowd with excitement.

We all pretty much agreed that this year, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche was less interesting in terms of exhibits than it was last year. I mean, come on. Three boxes — one vibrating, one vibrating harder so that it moves, and one that intermittently “inhales and exhales” — do not “embody the human experience.” The artist was clearly inspired by her lack of creativity.

But here’s the thing. Despite the lack of talent on display, it seems Nuit Blanche is still fun. For us, that’s because it became less about the art – to be fair, there was a smattering of interesting exhibits – and more about the companionship. And it turns out also that exhibits like the three boxes were great fodder for the jokes and conversation that made this nighttime excursion so much fun.

It gave us a great opportunity to commune with our friends Lex and Ger – to gab about the art, the city, and the people, and to just hang out and poke fun at everything. We never strayed far from one another because there was always a sense that we were in this together – that we would make this fun and entertaining, despite the artists’ best efforts to ruin it for us!

Gerry, leading the way

Best example: one of the last sites we visited was a giant inflatable locust that was supposed to be on display in a football field. It promised to be an interesting site to see. Well, when we got there, it was deflated. But people – both those associated with the installation and just visitors who felt like helping out – all took to tugging and pulling on the deflated carcass in a combined effort to help the giant fans get air back into the beast.
Gerry led the way as we tried to help and, while we lost interest before it was fully inflated, we definitely saw a vast improvement in the size of the beast before we left the scene. There was a great sense of achievement and community – not only with the rest of the Nuit-Blanche-goers, but within our own party – to try to make this evening work. And that sense of community was why it did work. Not because of the efforts of the artists, but because we were so connected with each other.


Anyway, we capped off our five hour trek with a last quest to find a decent quick meal at 4a.m. before heading home for a well-deserved rest. After much deliberation, we managed to find a yummy snack at an Indian restaurant near Lex and Ger’s.

With tummies full, we headed to bed. Can’t wait til next year!


3 responses »

  1. margotinto says:

    You know what I think? If the artists themselves are not providing the inspiration, then it is up to the participants to re-invigorate la Nuit. I've heard the same sorts of reviews on the CBC, that it was the crowd, and not the installations, that made it fun. So what about next year being an art installation ourselves? I'm definitely taking part next year, and I'm sure we could convince phelisque et son mari, qui est un artist soi-meme, to come and help us create some guerrilla art in amongst the installations. I can hear your "Meh,…" before it even leaves your lips, but I'm giving you a year to think about it.

  2. me?! Meh? Never!Actually, we had been playing with an idea. We (Lex, Mel, Gerry, and I) were going to do a blind food tasting a la Hell's Kitchen — just to test our palates. We'd each choose five foods and challenge the others to taste and identify. Lex thinks bigger though, so here's her idea.She though it would be great to do this on a larger scale at Nuit Blanche. Not sure if it's art exactly, but I'm sure you could spin it so that that it is. Might be something to consider – and a great advert for Cheapeats.

  3. […] Keep reading The Race to Save the Giant Locust on Junkii’s blog […]

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