So, last night here in Paris was La Nuit Blanche, which is where everything stays open all night and special installations and exhibits are put up throughout the city. It’s always a fun night, my flatmates and I stuck to the Marais-based events and had a great time!Here’s what we experienced:
Caught by Umeå (L’Institut Suedois):
A temporary space at the Swedish Institute invited us to discover the spirit and culture of Umeå, a city in northern Sweden, which is the 2014 European Capital of Culture. The exhibit itself is touring, with Paris as one of 8 locations it’s visiting. It included photo and design exhibitions, ice sculptures, light and sound. The garden of the Institute was filled with ice sculptures placed around and alight with colour. One of the highlights was seeing a supervisor emerge with a chainsaw to cut some ice from one of the sculptures so the children who were there could play with it. The tour is due to continue on towards Barcelona and Hamburg, and you can find out more here.
Galerie du jour agnès b.:
This was simply a gallery nocture at Galerie du jour agnès b. which kept its doors open for the entire night. The gallery opened in 1984 as a home for contemporary art. There are roughly 10 rotating exhibits a year, showcasing the work of lesser known painters, sketchers, sculpters and photographers. Not having ever had much experience with contemporary art much of the contents seemed to go over my head, to some extent. It still an enjoyable visit, nonetheless. You can find out more information about the gallery here.
Bibliothèque Forney, Hôtel de Sens:
The installation here was named ‘Haute Couture, Haute Tension’ and was set in the medieval-esque backdrop of Hotel de Sens. It focused on the work of artist Elena Paroucheva, and featured three main aspects – a large pylon-cum-dress outfit, a video projection showing Paroucheva’s work and acoustic live entertainment. It was sweet, if a little creepy.
Les Archives Nationales and Le Credit Municipal:
This was a personal highlight, and a good event to finish on! The project was based on the idea of the Mount of Olympus and its garden. Les Archives Nationales became the entrance to the City of the Gods, guarded by mythical beings. Once you progressed through here you were led towards Le Credit Municipal, which was the garden, featuring light-up trees, fountains, UV lights and eerie/fairy-esque/mythical music played in the background to add to the atmosphere.