Dlast sleepless autumn night! For its twentieth anniversary, the Parisian cultural event which organizes artistic interventions in the streets of the capital is preparing to change its date. “In 2023, the event will take place just before summer and no longer the first weekend of October”, explains Carine Rolland, deputy mayor in charge of culture.
To mark this shift, the municipality has entrusted the programming of what it describes as a “cultural Olympiad” to Kitty Hartl, the founder of the Burlesque Cabaret that the general public had been able to discover in the film Tour by Mathieu Amalric, released in 2010. “We love the sense of magic and the sharp, offbeat and committed gaze of Kitty”, justifies the chosen one.The artist, who passed through Nantes where she met Jean Blaise, the inventor of the Nuit blanche with Bertrand Delanoë in 2002, invites the public to a nocturnal stroll, between 1is and on October 2, discovering installations inspired by the painting by Jérôme Bosch, The Garden of Delights. Like the Dutch Renaissance painter, Kitty Hartl envisions the capital as “an exuberant garden, invested with unusual scenes, populated by rare forms and crossed by intriguing creatures”, she smiles.
Purple rain…Confronting the visual arts, music, dance, theatre, but also the circus and even… fashion, the 93 artistic proposals she has selected this year all fit, more or less, into this perspective. Some of them have already been exposed in an earlier edition. “We wanted to mark the 20th anniversary of the Nuit blanche to organize a kind of retrospective of some great moments from the past. Posters from previous editions are also displayed on the gates of the Hôtel de Ville,” says Carine Rolland.
READ ALSOThe cultural choices of the “Point”: dream with Hockney or hold back the night with Vigan
Among the four “remakes” of this edition is the work Purple Rain by Pierre Ardouvin. An immersive installation presented for the Nuit blanche 2011 which pays homage to the hit (and to the film) of the singer Prince. The public is immersed in an atmosphere of artificial rain like in the cinema. “The work today takes on another dimension with the multiplication of environmental disasters”, slips Kitty Hartl. This explains its location, in 2022, in front of the Climate Academy (place Baudoyer, Paris 4e).
…and white flag
Another creation already seen, The White Flag that Georges Pascal Ricordeau hoisted in the Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis church (99, rue Saint-Antoine, Paris 4e). Shown for the first time in 2013, this banner was made from the braiding of hundreds of plastic bags, derived from petroleum products. This banner appears as a double evocation of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the white flag being the one waved during a surrender, but also the signal of a form of rout of our societies in the face of climate change. “It is the characteristic of great works of art to allow a different re-reading each time we see them”, emits Carine Rolland.
The vast majority of the 2022 edition will nonetheless be composed of unpublished works. One of the most monumental will be constituted by Speculum, a giant triptych that the Dutch artist collective Smack will plant in the Nelson-Mandela garden (Les Halles district, Paris 1is). A fresco 21 meters wide which evokes, like the masterpiece of Jérôme Bosch, at the same time the lost Eden, the hoped-for paradise after death but also the dreaded hell. “A vast painting where characters will walk, animated by the grace of digital arts and which will hold up to us a distorted mirror of what we are”, says Kitty Hartl.
On the forecourt of the Center Pompidou, the German visual artist Stéphanie Lüning will activate a curious colored foam machine that an air vent will propel upwards like a volcanic eruption. Again, after Hurricane Ian submerged part of Florida earlier this week, this Island of Foam will take on an ambivalent look depending on the viewer’s state of mind. (Place Georges-Pompidou, Paris 4e).
Behind the Samaritaine, the Swiss sculptor Étienne Krähenbühl, who has placed the physical perception of the passage of time at the heart of his work, will exhibit Bing Bang, a curious chime. This sphere made up of 850 metal parts suspended, hanging by a thread, will emit sounds evoking in turn the noise of the wind in a Tibetan bell, a pulsation or, as its title suggests, the original crash from which is born our universe (Rue de la Monnaie, Paris 1is).
At the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Cabaret New Burlesque will offer several shows throughout the night. The opportunity to see again, after almost ten years of absence, the petulant Julie Atlas Muz, Mimi Le Meaux, Dirty Martini, Kitten on the Keys and Roky Roulette in unusual striptease sessions. Because these young women who are simultaneously dancers, acrobats and singers who like to flirt with prohibitions also and above all carry an invigorating emancipatory discourse (Place du Châtelet, Paris 1is).
Night owls can also discover Spectre, a nice-sized luminous cube placed in front of the Town Hall. Signed by the Catalan architect Mariona Benedito and the Cube collective. BZ, this night light reproduces the glow of the Moon thanks to 56,000 low-consumption bulbs. This work will echo the luminous sculptures of the Kino collective, representing Trees of Delights, which will be sown in various places, between Paris and Orly, but also in Constellations by Joanie Lemercier who will light up the Canal de l’Ourcq (Place du Rond-Point-des-canaux, Paris 19e). So many totems intended to restore Paris to its City of Light status.
In the large halls of the town hall, the American singer Chrystabell will give four mini-concerts, every hour from 8:30 p.m. Pierre Hermé will graciously distribute thousands of macaroons to the public (place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, Paris 4e).
Open your eyes
Some works will be more discreet. This is the case of Smookerby Nils Guadagnin, who will spit wisps of smoke from the belfry of the town hall of Paris-Centre (4, place du Louvre, Paris 1is). Such also the installation of Valérie Sonnier (Everything says something to someone) which will plunge visitors to the Victor Hugo house into the atmosphere of spiritualist seances thanks to an exhibition of photographs evocative of this practice appreciated by the writer (6, place des Vosges, Paris 4e).
The street artist Codex Urbanus will, for his part, welcome the public to the city’s sewers in a form of escape game reproducing the atmosphere of the film Ghost-Buster (Musée des Égouts de Paris, Pont de l’Alma, Paris 7e). “Mutant creatures straight out of Bosch’s works will be there, five meters underground, closest to the gates of hell. Visitors will have to identify them and report them to the unit dealing with paranormal phenomena within the cleanliness services of Paris. It will be a question of making sure to close the watertight doors behind you…”, evokes the visual artist who had already intervened in these places in 2018.
Not all facilities will be concentrated in the center of Paris. The France-Germany match will be replayed at the Charléty stadium. This Nightmare of Seville will take the form of a choreographic ballet where Massimo Furlain will have his dancers reproduce the movements on the pitch of the Blues during this tragic semi-final of the 1982 World Cup. Useful clarification: ball and opposing team will be invisible! (99, boulevard Kellerman, Paris 13e).
READ ALSORelive the 2021 edition of the Nuit blanche
American Annie Sperling will project onto the interior walls of the Molitor swimming pool colorful images composed with photographer David LaChapelle, to a very psychedelic soundtrack by Mason Rothschild. A performance in the form of « liquid light show » since the pool will act as a screen, while an artist will swing above the water to the rhythm of rock music (2, avenue de la Place-Molitor, Paris 16e).
On the other side of the device
Nearly a million onlookers are expected in the streets of Paris tomorrow evening. The Nuit blanche will multiply the works in the suburbs. “The density of artistic projects in this edition encourages circulation through Greater Paris. Hiking and cycling will be organized to connect Montreuil and Nogent-sur-Marne or Bagneux and Malakoff, and many walks will connect towns such as Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis, Alfortville and Vitry-sur-Seine, Rueil-Malmaison”. concludes Patrick Ollier, president of the metropolis and mayor of Rueil-Malmaison, also organizer of the event.
* Complete program to be found on the Nuit blanche website