Fall is officially here in the City of Light! One of the nice things about living in Paris year-round is I can attend special events that only happen once a year. This weekend was “Nuit Blanche,” a city wide art festival from 7 pm to 7 am. Museums and public buildings around the city are open all night and free of charge. Each venue, including the streets in-between venues, has special exhibitions just for the night. Even though “Nuit Blanche” translates as “White Night,” locals interrupt is as “All-Nighter.” “Nuit Blanche” nights are held all over the world including Toronto, Melbourne and Santiago.
Most projects are along the Seine, so I started right in the middle of Paris: at Pont des Arts. There was an English tour to go over the history of Nuit Blanche, so I met another Au Pair at the bridge. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the tour so we decided to see some projects on our own. While on the bridge, we were bombarded with loud speakers playing “noise.” It sounded like static and we weren’t quite sure what was going on. Only after we decided to walk to another event did we see the lights under the bridge. We concluded that the sound had something to do with the lights under the bridge because the lights on the bridge were off. This made it very dark crossing the bridge, and somewhat eerie.
Walking east we saw a giant picture on the side of the Concierge. It seemed to be the a snapshot of the interior of the building, but upside down and on the north side of the exterior. At the bottom, it looked as though it was in water, making it seem as if it was connected to the River.
While walking to Hotel de Ville, we saw a parade of Moles. It reminded me of the creatures in “The Village.” In front of Hotel de Ville was a large pond with large chunks of ice, melting. The wood branches in the middle were spinning. On the other side of Hotel de Ville was an interesting video show of faces. From a new born to an elderly woman, there were faces of all colors and ages. They would morph in and out of each other in windows.
The coolest thing I saw during Nuit Blanche was this piece in Cloitre des Billettes. It was glow in the dark paint squares on plastic wrap. When you first walked in you saw plastic wrap zigged-zagged and wrapped from column to column. But once you turned a corner, you saw a face. Super cool!
The last event I went to was at the Espace Foundation. They had an exhibit on “ElectricSound” which included old music machines from 8 Tracks to Sony Walkmans. In the basement they had a dance floor where you could choose songs from a playlist. On the second floor you could make your own mixes on different sound boards. The third floor had bean bag chairs set up in front of a DJ. We waited 2o minutes before she started playing, but she was awesome! I loved how relaxed the atmosphere was, as I felt everyone was able to hang out comfortably and enjoy the show, which included a great light display. We only stayed for a half hour, as we had to get our train home, but there was a huge line waiting to get in when we left! If only we could have stayed there all night… it would have been a free concert with different DJs!!
Have you been to a Nuit Blanche in another city?