On October 5th, from sunset to sunrise, Toronto’s streets will be taken over for an all-night art party.
The international event brings art lovers to the streets in cities around the world for a celebration of visual arts and performance, along with in-depth conversations with artists and curators. This year, nearly 90 art projects by hundreds of artists will be on display, and we can’t wait for the festivities to begin. Here is your guide to Toronto’s Nuit Blanche 2019.
Sixteen projects will radiate out from City Hall, with sites including Yonge-Dundas Square, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Drake One Fifty, Metro Hall and 401 Richmond. Toronto Eaton Centre art installations will include Chasing Red by Anishinaabe artist Bekah Brown, a multimedia exhibition depicting the Northern Lights. Located on the CF Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, the installation honours indigenous cultures and the many meanings of the Northern Lights within them: Anishinaabe culture, where the Northern Lights are a manifestation of the Spirit Moon, the first moon of the year; and Dene culture, where red colour in the Northern Lights indicates a violent death. Dance performances representing the healing power of women and their connection to mother earth will be performed at sunset and sunrise to drum groups and singing.
One of the highlights this year is sure to be Daniel Arsham’s “Lunar Garden” at Nathan Phillips Square – the largest Japanese garden ever created by the artist – an otherworldly landscape featuring sand, sculpture and the moon at the forefront. In his earlier works, the Miami-raised, New York based artist – who is colourblind – focused on black, white and grey tones. Since then, special glasses that allow him to see a greater array of tones have allowed him to incorporate more colour into his installations. His work has been shown at PS1 in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, and the Athens Biannale, among others. “Blanchers” are in for a treat.
On the backdrop of City Hall at the intersection of Queen and Bay, the Toronto Raptors have sponsored an exhibit called Peace to the Past, Reach for the Future by Toronto-based artists Bryan Espiritu and Esmaa Mohamoud. The 5.5-metre sculpture celebrates the success of the 2018 NBA Champions and the diverse communities that have supported them over their 25-year history. If Raptors fans haven’t had enough to celebrate in recent months, this piece will be worth staying up all night for.
In Scarborough, a theatrical piece curated by Ashley McKenzie-Barnes will examine themes of social marginalization, self-identity negotiation, and racial stereotyping. Kings and Queens of Scarborough honours the east end’s multicultural profile, playing out over three acts in the area’s most highly frequented landmarks: The Amphitheatre (Cineplex Cinemas Scarborough, former Coliseum); People’s Square (Scarborough Town Centre) and The Royal Court/Courtyard (Scarborough Civic Centre/Albert Campbell Square).
Centred on the theme of the ever-present renewal of night and day, on a backdrop of Toronto’s stunning cityscape, the 2019 edition of Nuit Blanche promises to deliver.