Introduction

Strange Nuit at Hart House

Strange Nuit at Hart House

Nuit Blanche was cold and weird and I wore a funny hat. I went with some friends, and although best partner in crime and I left the downtown core of evil by 3 a.m., we got home around 5. Not cool, Blue Night Bus of Abandonment. But another TTC driver saved us by telling us where to catch the bus, so that was all right.

As an artist, I have no shame in saying I don’t understand fine art. Or, rather, a lot of it. I do not know what the puddle of vodka was supposed to mean. I do not know what the giant slide was supposed to mean. Was it trying to make a statement on the dangers of giving opportunities to drunk teenagers to hurt themselves/others or be generally loud? Not that I saw anyone get hurt there, it just seemed likely. The creator of the ‘Gone Indian’ installation, the ‘pow-wow truck’ we couldn’t find, made a comment in NOW Magazine about how the atmosphere around Nuit Blanche is becoming more like a party than an art night. My friend noted that people seemed to be most excited about the bars being open until four. Some guy was smoking a cigar inside a building that probably wasn’t his house, given the giant CIBC sign. Okay … Let me change my first statement. I can understand fine art. I do not understand Nuit Blanche.

Or I was just disappointed that the entire city wasn’t literally covered in art. That everyone attending wasn’t wearing some kind of crazy costume and every building wasn’t decorated in ideas from head to toe.

Whatever. Here’s what happened on campus!

Outside the UTSU building, cotton candy, popcorn and hot chocolate were donated generously to sober Nuit Blanching students, at the small price of being assaulted by not one, but two Dalton McGuintys. ‘V for Vendetta’ was projected onto the nearby white bricks (and a window). V said some stuff with a lot of Vs. I think this installation was trying to remind us of the Drop Fees rally next month. I think. Y’know?

Hopefully you peeps heard there’d be somethin’ goin’ down at the HH on Sat, heard? Oh, I said ‘heard’ twice… In any case, there was. The theme was ‘Drop Out,’ and we indeed ran into some things pertaining to that.

There was a small, wooden snowcone-producing ferris wheel we mistook for a torture device. There were some people dancing in the Arbor Room, which doesn’t usually happen. There were videos of pigeons by a sewer grate, a truck going backwards, dogs in the park (I liked that one), and a Mirror’s Edge-eye view from the 54th floor. On the way to the Great Hall, people were transformed into zombies and photographed as high school graduates (or ‘drop outs’? HA HA?).

The Great Hall itself had one screen with a car just recently driven off a cliff in midair, and the wheels were spinning; another had two shots of the same clearly-out-of-the-1970s-on-account-of-his-hair-and-beard guy in a split screen, blowing on the dividing line in order to … move it, and … the last screen had words. I’ve forgotten what they said. My pictures of these were way too blurry.

bang

We found this girl smacking her head against a wall. Then she underwent mitosis. Yeah, no. She was actually a projection cube of sorts. She banged her head, and another screen showed black and white videos of people falling off roofs or standing in windy garden pathway-like areas … and a TV had a guy jumping out of a plane, and the camera is right at his face, so he has, like … roller coaster mouth going on. Like, when the skin around your mouth becomes flappy … and this was happening in … slightly slow motion. In Super Smash Bros. it’s referred to as 1/2 speed. I don’t know the technical term.

Hart House did sport a lot of strange video projections, all of which were meant to be observed and were indeed observed. To be fair, it was an interesting* experience just to observe. I like it when things don’t make sense.

fate

No, it’s not our campus, but OCAD also had some strange things on display. Behold a vandalized computer grave next to the bus stop.

undies

Behold celebrity guest star, the almighty Anubis.

BABY

One of the many floating Kodama-like baby things. Their behinds were quite huge.

oh my

Another baby, and some interesting mannequins in the window.

GOAT

A YELLOW GOAT.

Royal Conservatory of Music

The Royal Conservatory of Music, at the end of Philosopher’s Walk, played atmospheric music (for which there was sheet music) throughout the building. It was creepy. The funky lights … were crying for a time machine to the ’60s (the music was not).

So there you have it. U of T and other schools were just a bit weirder on Saturday. I wish there had been more on campus. Even if it was just a pre-Halloween haute couture costume party in the field in front of UC. Students could dress up and just populate every building, and thus the entire campus would wind up an installation. If only we could ban drunkards and rowdy youth. If I find a way to talk to someone who can find a way to make this happen, I say we do it next year. One building, albeit very well done and totally weird**, wasn’t really enough…

– Liesl

*trippy

**This is a compliment.

4 comments on “Strange Nuit at Hart House

  1. Thank you for this post!! I was dieing to go to Nuit Blanche but alas! The wonders of U of T’s never-ending assignment/tests/readings prohibited me.

    Your post is awesome and the pictures were fabulous. And don’t worry – no one understands pools of vodka 🙂

  2. Some girl, on the Now magazine, said something about the apocalypse and I concur… you know one of those party where you show up late, every one is already drank and you feel left behind, subsequently drinking twice as much to catch up. Nuit Blanche was basically the same, except it was the whole Toronto downtown.
    Or better yet, have you seen “Batman begin” and do you remember the whole Gotham city was high?
    But for me, it was all about meeting up your friends, having a great time, then ditching them, or be ditched repeatedly throughout the night.
    Bon Nuit…

  3. Fariya: Technically, they should have prohibited me too… (shifty eyes)

    Eremeeff: You’re welcome! I implore you to indeed come to this blog everyday!

    Ming a ling: I unfortunately don’t remember all of Gotham City being high… I do remember it being very… blue? Well, no, that was another city- ANYWAY, Toronto was very very drunk that night, yes. But the most important thing is to have fun, and it sounds like you did despite the reoccurring ditching that happened (I hope anyway!).

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