Nuit Blanche


Urban art, installation, new media, performance...

Nuit Blanche

Past: Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 7 PM

On the 6th of October Nuit Blanche takes place, under the auspice of fluidity. A course will lead the length of the Seine from the Maison de la Radio in the west to Ivry in the east. The artistic director, Laurent Le Bon, intended a perambulation without beginning or end, a walk along the banks of the river which accentuates the town, its architecture and ambiance.

A promenade from East to West

A smooth and quiet stroll along the Seine riverbanks that will exceptionally be car free. An invitation to explore the architecture of the city in all its contemporary complexity, and an opportunity for the public to enjoy, for the first time, belvederes, vantage points over the city that are usually not accessible but allow to take a glimpse at unfamiliar vistas of Paris and the Seine. Like the various springs that feed the river, recognized or emerging artists from all generations and all nationalities, most of whom dwell in Greater Paris — as a tribute to Paris cosmopolitanism — nurture our imagination.

From poetic diversion to disturbing activism, each of them plays her/his own piece in the urban space. Décor Sonore Company cultivates a musical garden in Pierre and Marie Curie University at Jussieu, Jacqueline Dauriac transforms the gauzy fumes of Ivry-Paris 13 treatment plant into colorful curls. At les Halles, the Ripoulain Brothers hang cars and heavy materials from the worksite cranes to create a Calder-like monumental mobile whereas Adalberto Mecarelli has a geometrical half-moon rise behind the roof of Saint Eustache church. On Concorde square, Julio Le Parc wraps the iconic obelisk in a suit of lights. At the city hall of the fourth district, Michel Blazy spills a thick, white, and creamy foam on the ground as an allegory of the abuses of our consumer society.

On the Seine river Group F’s pyrotechnic display randomly drifts with the stream and illuminates the landscapes it explores. On the bateaux-mouches, Tarek Atoui’s mixing desks unleash and improvise with the sound of darbuka in the background. Along the riverbanks, a selection of words chosen by ORLAN and dissected live by France Culture scientific committee are projected and urge strollers to react on the social networks.

For several kilometers along the banks of the Seine, “Paris à l’infini (dance)” by Julie Desprairies, as if it were the backbone of Nuit Blanche, pays a vibrant tribute to the driving forces of the city. At regular intervals, City of Paris volunteers dance their own choreography to represent a segment of landscape and impersonate the monuments, buildings and urban landscapes.

In this nocturnal dance, Nuit Blanche unfurls its ribbon of streets where artworks and performances succeed each other at a frantic rhythm until the wee hours, in the manner of Christian Marclay’s cinematographic clock, an exploration of the illusory nature of time titled “The Clock” and projected at Chaillot National theatre.

Highlight of this new edition, the Night of Knowledge and a whole range of events punctuate the stroll and put rhythm into Nuit Blanche. You will get the answer to all you have always wanted to know about Woody Allen, the notion of White, the neon light or the year 1979 in a series of lectures/performances! It’s the Night of Knowledge all along the stroll that permits to prolong the realm of art into a time for words.

Concerts, music, dance and video performances also give rhythm to Nuit Blanche: Emma Dusong ‘s enchanted music stand in the library of the Paris-Val de-Seine School of Architecture turned into a class room, raises the question of our dreams of knowledge confronted with authority.

At Austerlitz railway station, three projects are bound for intense experiences: post-apocalyptic set live video by Tania Mouraud, Camille Henrot’s video installation that sets the myth of Frankenstein free from its yoke and the enchanting concert by Chapelier Fou who discloses a delicate electro lyrical universe as he takes off his hat. In tune with these artists, Nuit Blanche highlights a recent heritage and the places that make today’s Paris. It is an invitation to conquer public spaces, open doors of contemporary buildings, discover the masterpieces of the industrial heritage, rush into the elevators of university towers. From above, we have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the city and the Seine through the Belvederes. Strollers will be able to feel the soul of a few institutions and walk into the hypostyle hall of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the hemicycle of the National Assembly or the reading hall of the National Library of France.

More unusual places will also open their door: the abutment of Alexander III bridge will provide the setting for Pierre Leguillon’s video installation, a sort of Ludovico anti-method aimed at washing all visual pollutions away from us, or Freyssinet Hall that features Malachi Farrell’s highly sophisticated mechanic installation. And if Laurent Grasso’s oxymoron “Sun into the night” illuminates the roof of the Samaritaine, it is to make us take a fresh look at things that are every day before our very eyes! Contemporary, eclectic, scientific and festive, Nuit Blanche 2012, that also features nearly a hundred associated projects, promises to be particularly luxuriant, with a focus on intradisciplinarity. In the wake of dance, installations, concerts, lectures, performances and videos describe a perpetual movement: Paris ad infinitum, ad libitum…

See Paris from above: don’t miss panoramic viewpoints

Another novelty: Nuit Blanche will allow visitors to access about fifteen unobstructed viewpoints located along the path and normally closed to the public. Here are a few sites located at altitudes that will allow people to discover the capital from above: 
— the terrace of Tour Morland, located on the 15th floor of the building (4th district)
— the room of the Haut Conseil located on the 9th floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe, (5th district)
— the 24th floor of the Tour Zamansky, Pierre and Marie Curie University, on the Jussieu campus (5th district)
— the 18th floor of the François Mitterrand Library (13th district)

All the Program—in french

Misc venues for this event