On October 1st the city of Toronto hosted its annual Nuit Blanche.
The annual event closes down streets in the downtown core for one night in favor of art installations and cultural events.
This year an anonymous group of artists calling themselves “Luzinterruptus” closed Hangerman Street for their “Literature vs. Traffic” installation. They claim “light as their medium and darkness as their canvass” so Nuit Blanche was right up their alley – or street as the case may be. Toronto was not the first time they closed a street for the “Literature vs. Traffic” exhibit but it may be the first time they were invited to do so. Their missions statement? ‘We want literature to take over the streets and conquer public spaces, freely offering those passersby a traffic-free place which, for some hours, will succumb to the humble power of the written word’.
Under the guidance of Luzinterruptus 50 volunteers spent 12 days placing the 10,000 books along the street, with small lights illuminating the open pages of the books, no doubt hoping for dry weather the whole time.
The installation was totally interactive and people were invited to sit down, enjoy the books and then take away any books that they chose. The street was emptied of books in 10 hours.
Nuit Blanche starts at dusk and goes ‘til dawn … which is the only feasible reason I can see that I did not know about this until after the fact … it takes place after my bedtime! Nope … turns out I was out of the country. Oh well, maybe there will be something equally creative and book related next year? (Nuit Blanche 2017 is on September 30th)