On September 30th starting at sunset (or, for the more detail-oriented among us, at precisely 6:58 pm), the 12th edition of Nuit Blanche will kick off, unleashing 90 contemporary art projects from more than 350 artists, across Toronto for one sleepless night from sunset to dawn.
This year, in honour of Canada’s 150th, Nuit Blanche has announced an overarching theme for the first time ever. “Many Possible Futures” is an invitation for artists to look forward and imagine the next 150 years, “both the dystopian and utopian versions,” says Jeanne Holmes, program supervisor for the city’s cultural events.
That means exhibits from local, national, and international artists that address protest, social change, revolution, Indigenous rights, gender equality, and the environment. It means 39 city-produced projects, 10 major institution projects, 39 independent projects, and two special projects produced by corporate sponsors H&M and Shiplake Properties Limited.
With nearly 100 works situated within easy walking distance around the downtown core, the night guarantees something for everyone, but to get you started, here are six highlights you won’t want to miss.
In Calculating Upon the Unforeseen six Canadian artists reflect on many possible futures, including an imagined foreign mission, a look at the Indigenous understanding of treaties, and mental time travel.
A Monument to the Century of Revolutions will take over Nathan Phillips Square, with 21 shipping containers, creating a small industrial village. The containers will tackle different moments in revolutionary history (from the Mexican Revolution to Yugoslavia and China) and issues with sex workers rights, migrant workers, and the Indigenous.
Listen to the Chorus, by Toronto’s Madeleine Co., is a video installation exploring the state of women’s rights and a collective desire for change.
Artist Annie Macdonald presents Holding Still // Holding Together, another video installation, this time examining the struggles between police officers and protestors.
Despite its complicated title, Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #1 (A Domestic Scene), a piece inspired by a photo found in a high school yearbook. Mike Kelley has restaged a depiction of two young men in a shabby apartment and their unnerving, histrionic relationship. The installation features images, video and material objects referenced in multiple ways. Sponsored by Shiplake Properties Limited, it is sure to be a piece almost anyone can relate to.
When it’s time for a rest, visit Dream Variations where cots, pillows, and sung voices in the dark offer a time and space for dreaming, meditating, and contemplating a new world.
The 12th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto will take place on Saturday, September 30 from 6:58 p.m. until sunrise. Visit nbto.com for more info.