Paris – Nuit Blanche – resisting the winter with art

October 5 2013.
Paris’ ‘Nuit Blanche’ festival started for us with a bang – you really couldn’t miss the massive conga line of around 50 African drummers marching and dancing down our street with a crowd of a couple of hundred tagging along behind clapping and whooping in time to the music and the call-and-response chants.

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

Literally ‘White night’ – it is an arts event in which major galleries and government buildings and many smaller galleries open their doors for free – many of them until dawn. It is a final resistance to the inexorable shortening of the days into Winter, and it is quite the celebration. The Marais district comes alive and people stream out into the open spaces in front of the Town Hall (Hotel de Ville).

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

The Hotel de Ville is lit up in spectacular fashion

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche – Hotel de Ville

and it becomes a meeting place for Parisians of all ages

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

Even the spiders have their own light show

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

We visited a small photographic exhibition at around 11.30pm – interesting concept, buildings photographed, along with what lies behind, and the building then partially erased as though transparent to show what lies behind in a partly fractured image – always ‘under erasure’ or as the French would say: “sous rature‘. Obviously we couldn’t photograph in the gallery – but this was from their poster – and shows just a little of the interesting concept behind the work.

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

It was great strolling across the bridges and seeing people out and celebrating life

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

And of course the light show went on well into the night

Paris - Nuit Blanche

Paris – Nuit Blanche

It was as unexpected as it was delightful – and what a wonderful concept to throw open the city for one night of the year 🙂