Nuit Blanche


Nuit Blanche, an all night art festival finally made it to Edmonton! I was first introduced to this wild and wacky art festival when I lived in Toronto. You would spend the evening covering a lot of ground and discovering corners of the city you didn't even know about. I still talk about my "favourite installation" which was a life size chocolate deer in Trinity Bellwoods park that was being chiselled away and handed out in chunks - I revisited that piece quite a few times. Needless to say, I was super excited that Edmonton was joining in the festivities and despite having a cold, forced myself to enjoy EVERY MINUTE OF IT... before I got too chilly and called it a night. Here are some highlights:

Imagine Peace - Yoko Ono

Basically the perfect spot for this banner and it overlooked her Wish Trees installation in Churchill Square. 

Dance of the Cranes - Brandon Vickerd

Picture hundreds of people gathered on the roof of a parking garage to watch four towering cranes in a synchronized dance to EDM - it sounds absurd and it was, but in the best way. This went on for 90 minutes, we lasted about 30 and as we were exited through the stairwell we ran into an older, bewildered couple who didn't seem to realize/understand that downtown had been taken over in the name of art. 

Pothole Possibilities - Sarah Amato + Monique McFlarlane

One of the biggest, ongoing, comical complaints from the citizens of Edmonton is about the abundance of crater sized potholes that plague our streets yearly. Despite filling 450,000 potholes a year, they can't seem to fix them as fast as they appear (thanks to snow/ice/melting/condensation/repeat) our winters do a number on the roads. Throughout the evening the artists made art out of the cracked roadways, here were two of my favourites.

Ouroboros - Gary James Joynes

Sounds and lights and a weird blob in the middle of city hall that was shape shifting and made me feel like I was in a Nine Inch Nails video. Is that a sufficient explanation? 

Blue Christmas - Ali Nickerson

Visit the elves of the North Pole and request a gift - this installation/improv art was hilarious. A girl ordered skis and was given a pair of chopsticks... a friend ordered a time machine and received a bottle of liquid with a light bulb attached and a label that read "drink me". Did I mention the elves were working in a giant present shaped structure?

Soccer Pitch - Priscilla Monge

As I watched the games ensue, I couldn't help but think.... "I hope nobody breaks their ankle". The ground looked exactly how it feels when you're trying to walk home inebriated. UNEVEN.

Wish Trees - Yoko Ono

Make a wish, write it down, tie it to a tree. That wish will be taken to the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland and these trees will go on to be planted around the Edmonton area. MAGICAL. 

Honorable mention: One of my favourite installations was Make It Flat by VSVSVS which I was too busy watching to photograph. However, if you ever wanted to know what it sounds like when a steamroller and a roll of bubble wrap meet, check out my instagram here.

ALSO Half the Air In A Given Space would have been nice to see, but the line up was sooooooo crazy. You can google that one on your own. 

For more info on the other installations I missed (there were many) check out the Edmonton Nuit Blanche website.

Photographs - Sandy Joe | Michael Borchert
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