Saskatoon will host its fourth annual Nuit Blanche Festival on September 30th, 2017. Curated by Michael Peterson, this year's festival will focus on spectacle and light, encouraging us to see our city differently and to explore areas we may not have entered before. For the first time, this event will be staged throughout Riversdale, Downtown and Broadway! (Official festival map is coming soon!)
Missaskwatoomina View, a camera obscura installation, focuses on observation, the experience of seeing, and connection with the land from the specificity of its historical location. A camera obscura is a darkened space with an aperture for projecting a circular image onto a screen inside, similar to how the eye works. The precursor to the modern camera, it allowed a scene to be viewed as an isolated indoor projection. Missaskwatoomina View employs apertures, periscopes, angled mirrors and camera bellows to create a projection of two slowly evolving views outside, including accompanying text works. The ephemeral shifting image of the river and city speaks to the evolving and multiple stories of its shores and neighborhoods. Missaskwatoomina View evokes fraught relationships between the Riversdale, Downtown, and Broadway areas and their changing histories: Northern Plains indigenous peoples, fur trade, land speculation, transport of materials and colonists, contentious bridge crossings, changing racial diversity, and current gentrification.
A performance in response to recent provincial budget cuts. It will educate and teach the public how to make better cuts on behalf of our provincial leaders. For the performance, Monique and Arantxa will set-up a butcher stand and burning barrel, asking visitors to explore how to make the ‘right kind of cuts’. They will cut into a meat-like substance, wrap this meat in ‘legal papers’, and cut wood to fuel the fire that will burn throughout the night to cook the ‘meat’.
(de)compressions is a moving robotic sculpture to be installed on the former location of Lydia’s Pub. The work is a transforming architecture that will change shape over the course of the night, referencing the building that once stood there while alluding to the future of the site. It will be constructed from a network of aluminum struts animated by electric motors, dynamic scaffolding that fluctuates between collapse and completion - a structure in transit. Funding for this project is provided by the Saskatchewan Arts Board’s Independent Artist program and by a Community Fellowship through the University of Saskatchewan’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Community.
Frenge is a video projection, created by Manuel Chantre, that is showing as part of Axenet’i Tth’al, an immersive, culturally-engaging exhibition currently showing at Wanuskewin Galleries and coordinated through Common Weal. The projection and this project more generally are the product of a long-term residency with the Denesuline community of Patuanak, SK, and artists Manuel Chantre and Michèle Mackasey. In part, the video discusses some of the inspiration behind the project, which is a maze-like structure created by community members and based on traditional lynx traps. Like the installation at Wanuskewin, the showing of Frenge in Riversdale will include both the video projection and fringes of branches tied together with hide by community members.
Landmarks Lost is an exploration of Saskatoon through landmarks that no longer exist. Images of some of these landmarks will be projected onto a grid made up of 30 metal plates covered in phosphorescent paint. In 15 second intervals the light will cut out, leaving only a ghostly glow of what was once standing, not unlike our memories of these landmarks. Viewers will be able to reminisce about buildings that once stood and the memories made in these spaces.
Saskatoon-based printmaker Cate Francis will lead Nuit Blanche attendees in the creation and installation of a collaborative mural. The mural will be composed of hundreds of brightly coloured and glow-in-the-dark screenprints that visitors will be invited to collage onto the side of a building using a nontoxic, wheatpaste adhesive. Cate will demonstrate the proper way to adhere the prints and provide guidance on how to arrange them to create an aesthetically-pleasing mural. A screen printing station will also be set up at the site, allowing visitors to print their own glow in the dark image to take home.
newo involves the four poets taking turns on a mobile “podium” that they are creating based on the land. They will engage in small sets of one poem each throughout the evening, moving throughout the Riversdale, Downtown, and Broadway neighbourhoods.
SYZYGY is a video loop consisting of natural textures and patterns collected from around Saskatchewan that have been digitally manipulated to produce an entrancing psychedelic interpretation of the surrounding landscape. The result stands in contrast with its location in the heart of the city. The video installation is a union of opposites pairing soft visuals with hard surfaces in a space that is often looked upon as being undesirable. The combination of vibrant organic sights in an inorganic place is further unified by the addition of a subtle textural soundscape produced from field recordings by multi-instrumentalist Adam Logan, who performs as young hands (experimental/electronic) and as a part of Ponteix (francophone/psych/pop).
Beyond Blue is inspired by Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located in a lava field outside Reykjavik, Iceland. After experiencing the sight of the otherworldly blue that emanates from the ground, Marie worked to find a material that could be used to emulate this experience, eventually finding a phosphorescent powder in Germany that absorbs light and slowly emanates this energy as a blue glow throughout the night. Over the course of the evening, the colour will slowly lose its charge, similar to the way sunlight fades over the course of a day.
This project consists of sewn paper and fabric dress forms that will hang from clotheslines behind the Saskatchewan Craft Council. The sway of the paper and cloth in the breeze are intended to give viewers the feeling they are standing in the backyard of a doll’s house. Viewers are also encouraged to cut and reform materials to make their own clothes patterns and add them to the clotheslines, becoming part of the installation.
A kinetic art installation that will play with the use of light. Incorporating refraction and the overlapping of shadows, the installation will create patterns of light that will interact with the surrounding darkness and change throughout the night.
Saskatoon-based book artist Susan Mills will lead visitors during Nuit Blanche in creating their own blank-paper notebook using hand-made paper crafted from common weeds in Saskatoon. As a come-and-go activity throughout the night of the festival, Susan will show participants how to sew and hand-bind their own notebook. The thread they use will be glow-in- the-dark, and the covers will also be printed using glow-in-the-dark inks, so participants can show off their books throughout the evening. The notebooks can be made by participants of all ages.
A unique performing arts presentation, Immemorial is a storytelling piece that takes viewers from the beginning of time to the present-day, told through one lens of a Cree man.
Inspired by the space-age design and utopian aspirations of the 1970's, Overshadow 2 reimagines an iconic geodesic dome as a planet in a strange eclipse. The illusion created obscures this vision of the future with images of contemporary life shot by the artist's teenage daughter. By simultaneously generating and exposing how the eclipse illusion is created, the video reflects on generations of human experience.
Finding the Light is a dynamic piece of movement art that challenges viewers to find beauty in unexpected places and conversely to see the flaws in what we are told is beautiful. It invites viewers to step into a world of trust – a different way of viewing ourselves. All props, lighting, and costume materials are being sourced through the Waste Not YXE community, repurposing and upcycling existing resources rather than purchasing new. Combining spoken word, original music by Saskatoon-based artist, Sleepwreck, and the dynamic acroyoga of SaskAcro, Finding the Light explores the grey area of narratives and emotions that are all too often cast as black and white. Presented in partnership with Waste Not YXE, Alchemy, and Green Tree Beauty.
A sparkling and brightly shining experience from the Broadway Bridge to off-Broadway back alleys. Students from École Victoria School, Georges Vanier Catholic Fine Arts School, St. Goretti Community School and St. Philip School have created sculptural and interactive artworks that use light as the focus. The installations were created under the direction of Monique Martin and Margaret Michel with funding provided by the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation through SaskCulture Inc., and the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Education.
As we Remember! combines paper-based sculptures and wearable backpacks, both of which will be internally lit to glow during the night. Negar has been interviewing people who have recently moved to Saskatoon and for each participant creating a backpack, made from paper, based on their stories, indicating places, elements, or other visual elements they remember from their hometown city. Viewers will be invited to choose a backpack to wear as they walk around the block where As we Remember! project is located.