Auto Lamp - My Favorite Exhibit this year

We’re pretty much done with Nuit Blanche – Toronto’s annual all-night celebration d’art. This is the event’s 5th anniversary and we’ve been lucky enough to attend all but one year. But it’s gotten out of hand.

The organizers have improved aspects of the experience, like condensing the area where exhibits are found, but they dropped the ball on some of the most basic items – like providing planning materials for us plebs who want to actually find the exhibits. Clearly written descriptions of what each artist intends would be lovely as well, rather than the hackneyed and obtuse abstracts that make it feel like the artist is offering an exploration of his own navel lint.

More critically, NB is starting to suffer from success failure. Too many people trying to crowd into small venues to see smaller spectacles.

That wouldn’t be so bad, but it seems as if 90% of that crowd is students simply out for a fun night of smoking up and getting drunk on a closed-off Yonge street, or dancing at an impromptu rave in Dundas square…what’s artistic about that, I ask?!

Still, while this will likely be our last NB, we at least saw a couple of cool pieces in between the ubiquitous video installations. One artist had taken a plain white van and created some beautiful designs by punching holes into the truck body. The photo above, taken with my iPhone, doesn’t do it justice because it was actually really lovely, with light streaming out through the design.

And we saw three giant inflated clown heads, jammed into a vacant alleyway – a fairly impressive site and one that generated some good discussion. But that was about it.

We’ll just have to find something else to do in Toronto next year.

Giant Scary Clown Heads

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8 responses »

  1. Amanda says:

    This reminds me of ArtPrize that we have here. This is its second year, although I’ve not gone to check things out at all. It’s too bad that things have gone downhill as the event has become more popular.

    • RoC(k)r says:

      Yeah, it’s too bad the Nuit Blanche event has dropped in quality, but I’ve had some really great experiences there, which I don’t want to diminish. Happy to have had the opportunity, and now it’s simply time to move on and find something else interesting. Maybe a trip to Grand Rapids next year 🙂

  2. margotinto says:

    Ya, my brother was out, and he said there were some black bloc-ish protesters out, and everyone was very nervous and on edge that some serious vandalism was going to go down, and then who knows what would happen. He also said that the drunks were ruining the experience. It’s too bad, really, that next time there is going to have to be security, and then Nuit Blanche will be ruined just like Caribana, whose parade always takes place now behind a chain link fence.

  3. alexaclark says:

    Of course, we did love having you in town. We’ll just have to find another reason to stay up all night and wander about. And of course something else to play our dotmocracy game on.

  4. Leege says:

    OMG! I was there too! yeah, it was gross how many drunk losers and disrespectful people there were. It was worse than Canada Day shinanigans…

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