12 installations you have to check out at Nuit Blanche

Sep 23 2016, 12:18 am

This year’s Nuit Blanche marks the 11th anniversary of the all-night art festival in Toronto.

Each year, the contemporary art installations attract tens of thousands of revellers who will make their way downtown to take in the work of both local and international artists.

On October 1st, there will be over 90 contemporary art projects scattered throughout the city in spaces varying from artist-run-centres to community organizations. And every exhibit is free to explore from sunset to sunrise (7 pm to 7 am).

Based on previous years, it’s always tough to squeeze in every installation, which is why we rounded up some of the most intriguing exhibits to give you a head start on your Nuit Blanche journey.

So without further adieu, here are the 12 Nuit Blanche exhibits we can’t wait to check out this year.


Where: City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square

This immersive three-part installation curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow will take place in both the cavernous rotunda of City Hall as well as Nathan Phillips Square.


Photo Via Artist Rendering of Ocean

Photo Via Artist Rendering of Ocean

The first installation of OBLIVION will create a turbulent primal environment and feature a constantly-changing canopy of recycled textiles.

Death of the Sun

Photo via Artist Rendering by Smith

Photo via Artist Rendering by Smith

Once you’ve taken in Ocean, make your way outside to view Death of the Sun, where you’ll witness a massive sculpture of the sun as it progresses through its life cycle. This is the one with the massive white ball you’ve been hearing about.


Photo via Artist Rendering, Human Heart

Photo via Artist Rendering, Human Heart

The final installation will feature Pneuma, which is a project that features high-pressure water jets that are directed against a plate in the square’s reflecting pool. The resulting spray forms a transparent screen beneath the pool’s Freedom Arches, on which changing images will be shown.

Zone: Militant Nostalgia

Where: John Street (Dundas to Front Street)

Curated by Paco Barrágan, Militant Nostalgia is a mediation on history and time that will feature 10 different projects.

Utopia’s Ghost (Fallen Flags) 

Photo via Fallen Flags

Photo via Fallen Flags

This exhibit is a body of work that explores the concept of the Utopian State. Created by Arturo Duclos, this project explores the political realities of a Utopian dream.



Photo via Erwin Olaf

Created by Erwin Olaf, Waiting features two short films shot in black and white and it documents the behaviour of a woman as she waits for someone who never arrives.

Meet Me In The Glass House

Photo via Meet Me in the Glass House

Photo via Meet Me in the Glass House

This immersive video installation will explore the concept of ‘genetic memory’, which means we are all born with distinct memories that are then imprinted on our personal history – similar to DNA.

Zone: And The Transformation Reveals

Where: Bay Street (Dundas to Front Street)

Curated by Camille Hong Xin, And The Transformation Reveals will feature 1o projects that explore the mystery of transformation and metamorphosis.

Literature Vs. Traffic


This interactive light installation will transform a busy downtown street into a sea of books that will represent the power of written words. The best part? Once Nuit Blanche ends, these books can be claimed by anyone who wants to take them.

Everyone Thinks The Same Thought 

Photo via Artist Rendering

Photo via Artist Rendering

This installation is a shared experience that visitors can embark on together. Once you arrive at the glowing installation, you will be taken on a journey where a single thought will be distributed using sound, video, text, and performance.

Fallen Water 

Photo via Artist Rendering

Photo via Artist Rendering

Created by Kevin Cooley, this exhibit is focused on our evolving relationship with nature. This project sheds light on the worsening global fresh water crisis through an exploration of local waterfalls and waterways.

Eunoia 2

Photo via Eunoia

Photo via Eunoia

This real-time exhibit allows participants to use their current state of mind to get translated into sound waves that cause water ripples on plates of water. This process gives a direct visualization of what they are experiencing and feeling at that exact moment.

Zone: Facing The Sky

Where: Waterfront

Louise Déry’s Facing the Sky exhibition will take Toronto’s Waterfront and is a contemplation of the intangible power of the sky and its fragility. This exhibit will feature 10 projects along the waterfront between Bay Street and Harbourfront Centre.

The Ghost of Modernity, Lixiviados


Projected on a screen along the shore of Lake Ontario with the dark night sky as a backdrop, this exhibit features a video that takes place on a deserted plateau in Zaachila, Oaxaca (Mexico). The film introduces visitors to a world of contrasts between darkness and daylight; North and South, rich and poor.

Silent Dedication 

Photo via John Jones

Photo via John Jones

This exhibit will feature the 2013 silent black and white film starring multi-disciplinary artist Shary Boyle for the first time in Canada. The film explores the silences that we all hold within ourselves and questions the silencing of marginalized people.

Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

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