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2017 Event Pre Publish

The 12th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto will feature more than xx projects by Toronto's arts community and four curated exhibitions produced by the City of Toronto.

Exhibition Projects by the City of Toronto

Under the curatorial direction of five curators, Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 features more than 30 public art projects by local, national and international artists. See below to view the curatorial themes and some of the participating artists from the 2016 line-up. Full details will be announced in August 2016.



Curators: Janine Marchessault/Michael Prokopow
Exhibition: Oblivion

Curatorial statement

It is well known that there will come a time in the vastly distant future, when the Sun –the gigantic life-giving molten of hydrogen and helium – will die. Science fiction writers have long speculated that the earth’s primordial oceans might well escape this solar catastrophe as nebulae metamorphose into new life. Three artists – Director X, Floria Sigismondi and Philip Beesley – consider the elemental aspects of our cosmic existence.

Director X presents an arresting interpretation of the death of the Sun that is simultaneously scientifically informed and poetically inspired. A fourty-five foot globe serves as an enormous three-dimensional screen for the projection of celestial images and sounds. Floria Sigismondi presents a performance of transcendence; a water-borne journey of liquid dreams whose fragility are at once intimate and universal. Philip Beesley evokes the protean ecologies of wonder that define the oceans of Earth through an immersive canopy of living textiles. Autonomous and connected, these works encourage reflection on the immensities, vulnerabilities and breathtakingly terrifying realities of the universe.

OBLIVION is about destruction and forgetting. It is about drowning in the pitch-blackness of pure and final absence. And it is about the possibilities of adaptation and unprecedented renewal.

These three monumental projects will be located at Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall.

Projects include Death of the Sun from Director X (Toronto, Canada), Pneuma from Floria Sigismondi (Los Angeles, USA) and Ocean from Phillip Beesley (Toronto, Canada).

Militant Nostalgia

Curator: Paco Barragán
Exhibition: Militant Nostalgia

Curatorial statement

Militant Nostalgia or When History Meets Memory tackles mediation and meditation on history and the passage of time. Nostalgia functions as an intermediary between the collective (history) and the individual (memory).

Unlike what was expected, the 21st Century has brought about on the one hand a moment of profound crisis, despair and deception; and on the other a discrediting of the big theories and ideologies (metanarratives) that have provided a solid and comprehensive explanation of our world. As a result, we as contemporary subjects feel disappointment, loss and are in search of a narrative that gives sense to our lives and future. The future is not what we have been promised and as such we long for the past.

Militant Nostalgia ... is a kind of contradiction in terms which pursues a revolutionary and reflective exploration of the past enabling a challenging and even utopian vision of the present-future.

Militant Nostalgia... allows us to look back at our past histories and memories searching for unrealized projects, failed dreams and unconsidered propositions in a prospective manner, envisioning alternative futures and un-marched paths wherein personal and collective memory meet.

This exhibition features 10 projects stretching along John Street between Dundas Street and Front Street.

Projects include Santiago Sierra (Madrid, Spain) with 100 Plastic Containers for Human Corpses , Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky (Toronto/Vancouver, Canada) with The Museum of Broken Watches and Rebecca Belmore (Montreal, Canada) in a new performance co-produced with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

And the Transformation Reveals

Curator: Camille Hong Xin
Exhibition: And the Transformation Reveals

Curatorial statement

The mystery of transformation is the central theme of my exhibition, is largely inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry, which was essential for his creative process and understanding of humanity’s true nature. Critic A.S. Kline wrote that Rilke considered “his constant task as transformation, of himself into another, of the world into the mind, of external phenomena into internal, of things into thoughts, of being into consciousness and becoming." In his poem, Duino Elegies, Rilke envisions - for human and for Earth - a reciprocal transformation. To a real extent, they become each other. The great existential poet went through an alchemic transformation crafting his art, so have his readers for the past century.

In ancient Greek, the word is metamorphosis. The idea of metamorphosis is an essential part of beings. What do we do in order to participate in transformation, to change and be changed? The selected works in this exhibition not only point to a process where the essence and/or appearance are reconfigured, but also offer us a mind and body experience where our being is transformed from within. They aim to discover and illuminate our inner poetry, emotional conflicts and spiritual inquiries in specific narrations between time and space, history and memory, nature and greed, and life and death.

This exhibition is located along Bay Street from Dundas Street to Front Street.

Projects include Bill Viola (Los Angeles, USA) with Transfigurations, Daniel Canogar (Madrid, Spain) with Asalto Toronto, Lisa Park (New York, USA) and Peggy Baker (Toronto, Canada) with Eunoia II and Kurt Bigenho (New York/ Los Angeles, USA) with Everyone Thinks the Same Thought.

Facing the Sky

Curator: Louise Déry
Exhibition: Facing The Sky

Curatorial statement

Artists have always turned their eyes to the sky and many of them, today, are following in the grand romantic tradition, standing as explorers with their heads raised towards outer space, observing its immensity, evoking its boundlessness while at the same revealing its poetry, mystery and magic.

In a world where the sky is being sold by the piece to meet the demands of the communication industry and in which formidable powers are busy hiding information or spying on our transmitted signals, artists will look at the night to reveal it and to shape the invisible in its multiple dimensions: exploration of the infinite, contemplation of its intangible power and consideration of its fragility. They will also contribute to reinvent the geography of the night as well as remind us of the ambivalence of our relation with the night-world, a world of bright stars as much as black holes, of dreams as much as fear, of survival as much as apocalypse, of heaviness and weightlessness.

The sky begins level with the surface of the earth. It makes visible the alternation between day and night. As ‘night-walkers’, we enter into the vertigo of the nocturnal sky.

This exhibition features 10 projects along the waterfront between Bay Street and Harbourfront Centre.

Projects include Julie C. Fortier (Rennes, France) with Smelling the Sky, Zacharias Kunuk (Igloolik, Nunavut) with Qapirangajug: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change and Myriam Yates (Sherbrooke, Canada) with Plantetarium/Terminal .


Independent Projects produced by Toronto's art community

Toronto artists, cultural and educational institutions, museums, galleries and neighbourhoods participate each year by producing their own one-of-a-kind projects that transform the city. The full list of 2016 Independent Projects will be announced in August 2016.

Nuit Blanche Toronto is Toronto’s annual all-night celebration of contemporary art, produced by the City of Toronto in collaboration with Toronto’s arts community. Since 2006, the event has featured more than 1,300 official art installations created by nearly 4,600 artists and has generated more than $268 million in economic impact for Toronto.