Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nuit Blanche

As usual, Nuit Blanche was fun, and weird, and confusing.  Part of the problem is we didn't struggle through translating the descriptions of what we were going to see.  Another part of the problem is that we were navigating through an unfamiliar part of the city after dark, when it was difficult to read the map and street signs.

It was still light out when we got to the first installation by an art collective from Uruguay.  The exterior of the Louis Blanc Metro stop was festooned with roving, braided yarn, and pompoms.  Hanging from this were cards asking questions in French, English, Spanish, and Italian all related to rain.  There were pencils attached so people could respond to the questions.

The next thing we went to was a performance in the courtyard of the Nissim de Camondo Museum.  There was a small carousel and 5 men dressed in red plaid suits and skull masks.  They spoke with high pitched squeaky amplified voices and I couldn't understand a word they said.  There was also a woman dressed in a long black dress.  These people wandered in front of the carousel, on the carousel, and into the audience.  There was a fog machine billowing fog into all of this.  It had a weird fairy tale atmosphere about it.

There was a light installation and a film that we spent a short time at.  What we were looking forward to the most was an installation whose description warned that arachnophobes should avoid it.  We were expecting a large mechanical spider.  We walked through the Parc de Batignolles and in a wooded area saw a large screen with a projection of a wooded area.  There were speakers scattered through the park and we heard loud grunts and growls.  In my experience, spiders are rather quiet.  This sounded more like a very irate bear to me.  Today I read in the descriptive brochure that this installation was centered in the belvedere of the park, so we may have missed the full impact of it.  I'm not completely sure what a belvedere is, and haven't looked it up yet.


  1. hilarious descriptions of weird art. part of what i love about being in france is often being a bit confused. almost always due to language deficiency on my part but also cultural sometimes

  2. I like that confusion too. We try to figure things out and sometimes we can but sometimes we throw up our hands and say, "They can't help it. They're French." I realize that this is actually due to our misunderstanding rather than the people we're dealing with being wrong or weird. It's easier to put the blame for the confusion on the other person.