Posted in Fun, Montreal, Photos

Nuit Blanche Part 2: Art Souterrain

Art Souterrain

I’m not an art critic. Or an art lover. Or really an art anything. So when I look through the guide to the Nuit Blanche, I glaze over all the art galleries, dance performances, films, plays, DJs or anything else of the sort. Instead, I concern myself with fun things in the Old Port or anything that’s funny.

But something about this “Art Souterrain” project caused me to want to go there. It was free, it was in a heated environment, and you could walk through it all without waiting in lines, checking your coats or feeling guilty about leaving early. You could spend about 10 seconds at one installation and then move on to the next one. And that’s pretty much what I did.

Art Souterrain floor arrow

I entered the underground city through the Palais des Congrès, where I found the first of these guideposts stuck to the ground. They were somewhat helpful at guiding me through the less travelled parts of Montreal’s heated maze, though they didn’t prevent me from getting lost at least once near the Square Victoria metro.

Many of the photos below are presented without captions, simply because I have nothing I can add to them. Despite all this, I still think most art is weird.

A projector puts an image onto a giant ball

A projector puts an image onto a giant ball

Guy on floor

Paintings

I'd never been inside Montreal's pink forest before.

I'd never been inside Montreal's pink forest before.

Scary clown

Acrobatics

Speakers and crank-powered flashlights were attached to control boxes on the ceiling. I think turning the crank powered the boxes, which created noise in the speakers.

Speakers and crank-powered flashlights were attached to control boxes on the ceiling. I think turning the crank powered the boxes, which created noise in the speakers.

You don't see harps and electric guitars together too often.

You don't see harps and electric guitars together too often.

Tires on grass

A piece of the Berlin Wall

A piece of the Berlin Wall. Not part of the Art Souterrain, but I figured I'd take a picture.

Figurines

I think this is art. There was a guy next to it.

I think this is art. There was a guy next to it.

Black and white

That's a meat grinder, for those who don't recognize it. Notice the two sets of threads are of a different shade.

That's a meat grinder, for those who don't recognize it. Notice the two sets of threads are of a different shade.

Not sure if these were part of it. But they sure looked comfy.

Not sure if these were part of it. But they sure looked comfy.

Bear

A to Z on the backs of trucks

A to Z on the backs of trucks

Gas stations

I don't think that's apple juice

I don't think that's apple juice

For those wondering what a pyramid of urine samples looks like, here you go

For those wondering what a pyramid of urine samples looks like, here you go

My guidebook says these jars of urine were collected over five months by Sophie Juneau.

I particularly liked the name plate at the back, made from cracked mirror.

I particularly liked the name plate at the back, made from cracked mirror.

People wandering about in the underground city at 1am

People wandering about in the underground city at 1am

Pillows

Pillows

Some students at UQAM came up with the idea of giving people pillows they could strap to their heads so they could sleep while walking. After the night was over, they’d give back the pillows, get back their deposits, and the pillows would be distributed to Montreal’s homeless. A brilliant idea.

Cinnabon near Place Bonaventure

Cinnabon near Place Bonaventure

This Cinnabon outlet had the bright idea to stay open during the Nuit Blanche, and got business as a result.

Record

Guinness

This installation from Mathieu Valade isn’t actually trying to beat any Guinness world record, but got plenty of attention from passers-by who looked up at the ceiling of this corridor near Central Station.

Postcards with things written on them to change their meaning, from Joannie Boulais.

Postcards with things written on them to change their meaning, from Joannie Boulais.

Central Station at 1am

Central Station at 1am

Wheel! Of! uhh... Something!

Wheel! Of! uhh... Something! (Viviane Neuman)

It's only 1:15am, why is the ticket counter closed?

It's only 1:15am, why is the ticket counter closed?

Projector

Notice the film from this projector is a giant loop that passes over the staircase.

Film reel

Gun

In this dark room are floating donuts. That is all.

In this dark room are floating donuts. That is all.

This isn't nearly as fun as it looks.

This isn't nearly as fun as it looks.

Make your own t-shirts

Make your own t-shirts

This was an interesting situation here. People were invited to create T-shirt designs, with some sort of prize going to the winner. It got plenty of people to participate.

T-shirt makers

T-shirt designs

Guillaume Clermont coated cardboard boxes with some waterproof material and then put some "abandoned" water in them.

Guillaume Clermont coated cardboard boxes with some waterproof material and then put some "abandoned" water in them.

I guess this is from the same guy who did the earlier grass and tires piece, though they were far apart from each other.

I guess this is from the same guy who did the earlier grass and tires piece, though they were far apart from each other.

Playtime

Bleachers

Books

I studied this one closely to figure out which newspapers were used in its creation. I think it was Le Devoir.

I studied this one closely to figure out which newspapers were used in its creation. Julie Picard made it into the shape of an ice cream cone.

Stepping on this carpet created sounds and images on a giant screen.

Stepping on this carpet created sounds and images on a giant screen.

The aforementioned screen, during a quick debugging process.

The aforementioned screen, during a quick debugging process.

This looks like the least fun place to be DJing anything. And how did he get up there, anyway?

This looks like the least fun place to be DJing anything. And how did he get up there, anyway?

This Van Houtte location at Place des Arts was also doing plenty of business in the wee hours.

This Van Houtte location at Place des Arts was also doing plenty of business in the wee hours.

Improv at PdA

Place des Arts is filled with activity just before 2am

Place des Arts is filled with activity just before 2am

I decided to make my way to Place des Arts for a 2am improv show. Being an uncultured couch potato, I’ve never actually been in these theatres for a live production (with the exception of a university graduation ceremony at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier). I went down to Théâtre Jean Duceppe and took a seat with hundreds of people my age to watch some performers think on their feet.

Théâtre Jean Duceppe

Théâtre Jean Duceppe

Improv

The show was emceed by a guy (left) who looks (from a distance, anyway) like a cross between Patrick Lagacé and Érick Rémy. Turns out its Stéphane Bellavance (who really should have a website I can link to for people to find out more about him).

Audience members offer excess wardrobe to performers

Audience members offer excess wardrobe to performers

There. Now I’m cultured for another year.

For more on the Art Souterrain, go here or see Midnight Poutine’s similar photo gallery or this photo gallery.

4 thoughts on “Nuit Blanche Part 2: Art Souterrain

  1. Paul Frigon

    Glad to see someone liked out film loop enough to blog about it :)

    I think we got the most reaction from the Central Station’s security guards, they seemed very concerned by our duct-tape aesthetic :p

    Reply
  2. Phil Leonard

    I’m glad too, I mean it’s fun seeing our work trough someone else’s eyes. Can’t wait too see the video footage from Moment Factory.

    Reply

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