The 10th edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto is this weekend, with more than 45 public art projects by local, national and international artists. While the crowds and chilly October weather can be daunting, here are five installations worth cramming into midnight TTC buses.
Sphinx – Luis Jacob
Allan Gardens, 19 Horticulture Avenue
Peruvian-born sculptor Luis Jacob asks Torontonians to think about our city and its current situation with a reinterpretation of the ancient questioning idol. Contrasting with its counterpart in Egypt, this sphinx is portrayed mid-stride and headless, holding his hands in front of where his face would be. What this has to do with Toronto I suppose we’ll find out, but what better place for a sphinx than Allan Gardens conservatory.
refugees run the seas… – Francisco Fernandos Granados
284 Jarvis Street
This topical billboard installation asks the viewer to reconsider how migrants are viewed. The text comes from the last line of Wyclef Jean’s rap in Shakira’s 2006 song Hips Don’t Lie, but with the word “boats” shifted to “votes”, referencing scenes of harrowing escape while hinting at a time when those seeking refuge will make their voices count.
Inside Out – JR
City Hall, 100 Queen Street West
More than a photographic interactive installation, since 2011 Inside Out has become a global phenomenon, with more than 250,000 participants in 120 countries. Inside Out asks participants to be photographed and lend their visage to an idea, project or action they support. By installing the work at City Hall, the anonymous artist asks participants to claim political and personal space at Toronto’s epicentre.
Hit – Christof Migone
Queens Quay East and Cooper Street
In Hit, part Performance Art and part Sound Installation, performers don’t drop mics, but whack them against the ground. Artists then remix the resulting sounds into a live, raw, unedited cacophony that resembles the quinessential bustle of the urban environment.
Light Cave – FriendsWithYou
Drake One Fifty, 150 York Street
The largest stand-alone sculpture by FriendsWithYou (Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III), Light Cave uses colour and light to create a sensory rich experience with the goal of bringing people together. While architecture has always been closely aligned with experiences of spiritual awe, this ‘living structure’ asks viewers to reconsider collective transcendence.
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