Ami Barak at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche – October 5, 2013 [fr]

As part of the Paris-Toronto series, French Artistic Director and Coordinator of Nuit Blanche in Paris in 2003 and 2004, Ami Barak has been invited by the City of Toronto to curate Scotiabank Nuit Blanche’s 2013 Exhibition A “Off to a Flying Start” on Saturday, October 5. As the first non-Canadian curator, Ami Barak has chosen to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Armory Show in New York, where Marcel Duchamp first introduced his concept of the “ready-made”. Artists featured in this exhibition include 4 French artists: Boris Achour, Alain Declercq, Melik Ohanian, Franck Scurti.

Projects by French artists of the Exhibition A

’The Big Crunch’, 2013
Franck Scurti – Paris, France

Scurti’s installation features multiple bicycle wheels, each fitted with clockwork and counter clockwork mechanisms exposed to the wall as mechanical gear. The artist refers here to the work of Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel (1913), in which a bicycle wheel was affixed to a wooden stool. This work can be regarded as the spark of the “Big Bang” that gave birth to modern art and the “ready-made”. In this work, Scurti, returns to this idea of artistic creation as “Big Bang” upside down, offering a visual and humorous contradiction, a mental “Big Crunch”. The object returns to the point of origin, destabilizing the poetic notion of space and time.

1 Trinity Square (Access from Bay Street, south of Dundas Street West)

’The rose is without why’, 2013
Boris Achour – Paris, France

For Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, the artist uses a short poem written by Johannes Scheffler, a theologian and German mystic poet of the 17th century better known under the name of Angelus Silesius. The poem, written with standard fluorescent lights spanning more than 300 feet, has an aspect of the spectacular while expressing a poetic and philosophical dimension and reflects upon the nature of the art and the place of the spectator. Mixing assorted elements stemming from highly diverse cultural and formal fields, Achour’s work establishes an open connective system in evolution based on the affirmation of the shape and the jubilation of the creation.

Nathan Phillips Square 100 Queen Street West (At Bay Street)

’Crash Cars’, 2013
Alain Declercq – Paris, France
Performance Art

Two driverless cars are set to loop at the same speed. As their trajectory produces a figure-eight loop, the two cars risk brushing against each other, constantly threatening to collide. Through a playful action and a cynical tone, the artist manages to loop – in an absurd, daft manner – one of the most straightforward symbols of wealth and power. The artist scrutinizes the structures of power and the oppression they provoke, such as security schizophrenia, supervision, and media manipulation. Declercq’s role reversal game makes him an evidence hunter as well as a dysfunction provoker, aiming to reverse situations and preventing him from going round in circles.

Nathan Phillips Square 100 Queen Street West (At Bay Street)

’El Agua de Niebla’, 2008
Melik Ohanian – Paris, France et New York USA

El Agua de Niebla is a giant hammock, hand-woven by several families from the Mayapán village in Mexico. Composed of 72,000 metres of thread, the hammock unfolds to 41 metres in length. The scale of the traditional hammock is increased, thus creating a strange collective territory. The curved shape drawn by the sheer weight of the textile reveals an intrinsic force at work, that of gravity, which defines and shapes the piece. El Agua De Niebla draws its name from the nets cast by farmers in the Chilean mountains, used to collect water from clouds for crop irrigation.

Bay Street & Queen Street West

History of Nuit Blanche

Nuit Blanche was originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces. Now universally translated as ’Sleepless Night’, Nuit Blanche brings more than a million people to the streets of Paris every year. In 2005, Paris organizers contacted the City of Toronto’s Special Events office with an invitation to join the ranks of approximately six other European cities producing similar all-night events. Toronto was the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model, and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago.

Last modified on 16/02/2018

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