Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013Tadashi Kawamata

Garden Tower in Toronto, 2013Tadashi Kawamata

I’ve attended nuit blanche for the past 3 years usually heading out around 10:30 or so to soak up the scene. This also typically means putting on one’s patience hat to wade through the influx of people who take over the streets of this fair city.

Each year I say that I would prefer to go out later in hopes of bypassing the hoards and this year was my year. I met up with some friends at Handelbar in Kensington to catch a show and a couple of drinks before we headed out into the streets around 1:30am.

First stop #46: “Your Temper, My Weather” was the feature at the AGO a video exhibit in which 100 bee-keepers joined in meditation. Additionally, a small portion of the permanent collection on the main floor was open for perusal.¬†

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Second stop #39: through OCAD ¬†installations were curated as part of “Gather”: “Collapsing the idea that culture exists separately from nature, while emphasizing the social relationships that various environments nurture, Gather is anchored by sculptural, kinetic and data-driven works that invite visitors to congregate and interact”.

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This was a favourite amongst the group as we wandered the dimly lit hallways from one piece to the next. It was intensely sensory as we easily moved from one experience to the next offering moments of inquisition and discussion. Artists included:

Marc De Pape – Toronto, Canada
Shannon Gerard – Toronto, Canada
Annyen Lam – Ottawa, Canada
Relay Studio (: Andrew Lovett-Barron / Eliot Callahan / Nick Crampton / Adam Carlucci)
Christine Swintak – Toronto, Canada

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Marc De Pape

Making our way east on Dundas we turned south along University to make our way to Nathan Philips. We passed #25 Katharine Harvey’s celebratory “Ferris Wheel” and then #9 “Toaster Work Wagon”, Kim Adams’ collection of double header bikes.

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Third stop #1: “Forever Bicycles” by Ai Weiwei: “Comprised of 3,144 bicycles Forever Bicycles forms a complex labyrinth-like monument to the rapidly changing social environment in China and around the globe”. Posted along the pedestrian bridge was #3: Boris Achour’s “The Rose is Without Why”: “Achour uses a poem by Angelus Silesius, theologian and German poet of the 17th century. The poem, written with fluorescent lights, expresses a philosophical dimension and reflects upon the nature of the art and the place of the spectator.”

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Fourth stop #4: Pascale Marthine Tayou’s “Plastic Bags”: “Today plastic bag use is being limited, prevented from further endangering the world’s ecosystem and polluting the environment. This sculpture made with this consumer symbol, a sign of nomad mobility, transforms the bags into a beautiful work of art”.

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Then just as the rain started to come down we crossed under rows of hanging socks at #10 “Clothesline Canopy” by Trinity Square.

Retiring damp from the rain around 4am for some late night eats we night-caped over shared plates of Spicy Shrimp, Shanghai Noodles and General Tao. It was by far one of my favourite years yet as not only was the art captivating but so was the company of both friends and strangers.