lundi 4 octobre 2010

The Light Fantastic

Nuit Blanche à Paris, 2 Oct 2010

Djeff Regottaz - Installation Reflexion!? @ Nuit Blanche
L'église-Saint-Paul-Saint-Denis, Rue Saint Antoine

Somewhere along the Seine on Saturday night, I do believe I uttered the exact phrase, 'I don't know how I would ever describe this to someone.' Despite this, as only modern art could, Nuit Blanche certainly demands some sort of discussion. So, whilst one of Paris' long standing contemporary art traditions sprawls into the evening, [and, in fact, the morn] is Nuit Blanche just another crazy contemporary art fad, or a shining light?

Entirely free and open to all, the ninth edition of Nuit Blanche was held here in this magical metropolis just this weekend. Unorthodox art installations reside in the cities churches and loom over it's bridges whilst other poignant visual art pieces are shown in some of Paris' finest theatre auditoriums. These were just a few of the things France's capital had to offer from Saturday evening through to the early hours of Sunday as floods of the French came from far and wide to witness this festival of light fantastic.

Created in 2002 by fun-loving mayor, Bertrand Delanoë (who is also responsible for Paris Plage, the ‘beach’ created along the Seine each summer, as well as the cities Vélib bike system), in partnership with deputy for culture, Christophe Girard, Nuit Blanche aims to bring art to the people in a once-a-year, free of charge extravaganza.

According to French press, it is reported that over 1.5 million people attended the cities acclaimed night of allure and artistry and it is apparent why as one meanders through a barrage of street performers dancing with fire to a curiously accessorised vision of the Hôtel de Ville, adorned with the phrase 'love differences' in a plethora of languages and colours.

No-one can ever really predict what they will see here in Paris; some of the best experiences are to be had wandering through the picturesque streets until you happen across something – in this case, it could be perusing the wide selection of socially labelled crockery in the gardens of Musée Carnavalet or a rare invite behind the doors of the Chambre Professionnelle Des Artisans Boulangers-Patissiers [quite frankly, a bakers Babylon!] only to leave with a goodie bag. Either way, I walked away with une petite pièce of Croissant as well as a piece of Paris, and all before bedtime.

Like the great Surrealist Artist himself, Rene Magritte might have mused; Nuit Blanche, ceci n'est pas juste une Nuit.

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