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Nuit Blanche 2012 guide: our top 20 picks for Toronto’s seventh annual all-night art crawl

Nuit Blanche 2012 guide: our top tk picks for Toronto’s seventh annual all-night art crawl

(Image: Sue Holland)

The dramatic-sounding Museum for the End of the World, curated by York University’s Janine Marchessault and OCAD University’s Michael Prokopow, will take over Nathan Phillips Square and parts of city hall—including council chambers and the underground parking garage. As the name implies, the projects in this section take on different aspects of the apocalypse. Apart from the end-times art on display, there are some practical reasons for heading over: the indoor exhibits should be toasty warm, and there are lots of pieces close together, which will allow visitors to see a lot of art in quick succession.

(Image: Douglas Coupland)

1. Museum of the Rapture, by Douglas Coupland
Location: city hall underground parking garage, 100 Queen St. W.
Douglas Coupland will set up a maze of signs and tableaux vivants (i.e., hired models standing very still) that reference the Rapture. Coupland’s name is a draw, but even more intriguing is what he said about the work: “I want visitors to be weirded out. Then I want them to be a bit angry.”

(Image: Iris Häussler)

2. Ou Topos, by Iris Häussler
Location: city hall underground parking garage, 100 Queen St. W.
Häussler is known for creating realistic environments for visitors to explore (some may remember her faux historical site at the AGO in 2007). This time, it’s the fallout shelter of a man obsessed by nuclear disaster and the end of the world. Sifting through his possessions should be equal parts creepy and fun.

(Image: Nathaniel Dett Chorale)

3. I Dream a World, by the Nathaniel Dett Chorale
Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W.
Thirty-minute performances beginning at 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m., 11 p.m., 12:30 a.m. 2 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.

The sound is a mix of Afrocentric choral music, spirituals and jazz, and the idealistic themes are borrowed from the likes of Langston Hughes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Omar Khayyam. We’re suckers for free live performances, and these ones from the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, a civic treasure, sound surprisingly upbeat considering this zone is all about the end of the world.

Still from the film Until the End of the World, 199, Robby Müller

4. Symposium—Until the End of the World, with talks by Slavoj Žižek, Arthur Kroker and Brenda Longfellow
Location: Toronto city hall, council chambers, 100 Queen St. W.
Arthur Kroker 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.; Brenda Longfellow 9:15 to 10:45 p.m.; Slavoj Žižek 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The three philosophers will each in turn sound off on issues that affect not just people and politics, but the planet as a whole. Žižek, the so-called “superstar of the Occupy movement” (and hero to many a cultural studies prof) will be the biggest draw, but stick around after he speaks to see a film by Wim Wenders, which inspired the symposium, at 1 a.m.

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