A parkette in a parking lot, a Lego owl statue and three other must-see spectacles at Nuit Blanche 2015
If we’ve learned one thing from the first nine years of Toronto’s all-night art extravaganza, it’s that there’s never enough time to see everything. To help you decide what makes the cut, here are five unmissable projects at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche’s 10th-anniversary edition.
An enormous owl made from Lego
Memory is Nuit Blanche’s official theme this year, and this sculpture in particular is sure to induce nostalgia: it’s made entirely out of Lego. Silent Knight, Toronto-based artist Ekow Nimako’s ode to the barn owl, is a massive, stark-white creation that consists of 50,000 blocks in every imaginable shape and size—i.e., all the pieces you could never find as a kid.
Bonus: Ceramic artist Nurielle Stern’s interactive paper-and-porcelain installation, The Bone Runners, is upstairs at the Gardiner.
A parking lot parkette
Aside from its green roof, City Hall is a sea of concrete: two towers, Nathan Phillips Square and elevated walkway. In Park Here, Toronto architect and teacher Katy Chey gives the space a facelift, using trees, grass and mounds of soil to transform a portion of the parking garage into a parkette. The result is a glimpse of how pleasant downtown Toronto might be if it just had a few more shrubs.
Bonus: Steps away, mysterious French photographer JR takes over Nathan Phillips Square with Black and White Night, a blend of projections, video installations and massive portraiture.
A monstrous multi-coloured cavern
Drake One Fifty
It’s a neon elephant, it’s a Technicolor tooth, it’s a… Light Cave? The L.A.–based duo FriendsWithYou have created their largest sculpture yet, transforming the Drake One Fifty into a cavernous colour wheel. The artists say walking under the abstract, semi-translucent blob will foster metaphysical unity, whatever that means. Whether or not you buy into their creative vision, the thing is super cool.
Bonus: Another room at the One Fifty is being transformed into a Vegas-style wedding chapel where you can marry your bike. Really.
A scene from an urban horror movie
Queens Quay East
Sandwiched between construction zones, Queens Quay East is already an industrial wasteland. Here, Tim Knowles’ Dispersal Zone makes the waterfront drive even eerier by closing it off to traffic, turning off the street lights and replacing them with his own smoke-spewing lamps.
Bonus: Not creeped out yet? Anandam Dancetheatre’s Glaciology, a slow-moving mass of tangled bodies, will pass through Dispersal Zone on its 12-hour journey from Lake Shore and Parliament to the Harbourfront Centre.
An installation made from 2,000 shoes
Bata Shoe Museum
The local artist Cyril Williams has spent the last four months hunting down old sneakers. This installation is why. Shoes That Line the Lane is a super-sized take on the iconic image of shoes hanging from a telephone wire, featuring 1,000 pairs of scuffed-up runners. And it will only grow: he’s inviting Nuit attendees to scribble a message on their own pair and leave them behind.
Bonus: More footwear awaits at Parisian Pascale Peyret’s Empreintes exhibition, in which dozens of carbonized wooden shoes will hang from the ceiling of the Bata’s atrium.