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A night at Nuit Blanche, Artists & Models


Yesterday, I took a trip to Toronto for the day. Before heading back to Buffalo, I caught a few projects from Nuit Blanche, the insanely popular all-night art extravaganza that's been an annual event in the city since 2006. The event, which this year included 150 separate art projects and installations, drew thousands of revelers into the streets of downtown Toronto. Some of them came out to see how artists are thinking about and interacting with the city itself, and some came for the party. Either way, art was the impetus, and the spectacle was stunning to behold. 

A few pictures of some installations I saw:

"Top Down," a whimsical, walkable city model by Toronto's BRDGLab:


"Planes," a 1968 "equipment piece" by accomplished choreographer Trisha Brown:


"Moth Maze," an interactive piece involving a film and a maze constructed out of metal barriers in a Richmond Street parking lot, by Oliver Husain:


"White Dwarf," a starkly lit, rotating Death Star-like object made out of bits and pieces of defunct technology, created by An Te Liu and exhibited in a temporary venue in an underground parking garage near Toronto City Hall:


"Flat Space," by Peter Boyer, on Bay Street:


Being in Toronto to catch the first bit of Nuit Blanch meant, regrettably, that I missed out on most of Artists & Models, the more-or-less annual mega-party and fundraiser for Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. When I arrived at the Pierce Arrow Building around 12:45 to check out the scene, I found the sizable crowd that was still there in a state of kind of dazed bliss. The talk of the evening was a massive balloon drop (the brainchild of emcee Shasti O'Leary Soudant and collaborators Alice Alexandrescu and Kyle Butler) which was described by at least one artist as an uncommon moment of communal celebration (as, I should add, was a performance by rapper Jack Topht). I wasn't there in time to see it, but my friend Lauren Newkirk Maynard graciously sent along this video of the balloon drop she captured on her iPhone:

I also caught some fun installations, including these:

A performer from Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School


A "performative office installation" by Buffalo Lab:


Jody Hanson's project involving an overhead projector, light boxes and rearrangable words printed on transparencies:


A performer from Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance:


In all, a pretty great night of artgoing on both sides of the border.

--Colin Dabkowski


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