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From Stranger Things To Hot Air Balloons; What To Expect At This Year’s Nuit Blanche

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Nuit Blanche is an annual city-wide sunset-to-sunrise art celebration that is going into its 12th edition this year. This year’s theme is “Many Possible Futures.” More than 350 artists will be downtown to showcase 85 art installations on Saturday night. From “The Upside Down” inspired by the popular Netflix show Stranger Things to a max-security prison cell, there are plenty of things to see at this year’s show.

Here are some of the ones we’re looking forward to:

  1. The Upside Down – If you’re a Stranger Things fan, now you can (kind of) enter the Upside Down world. Netflix announced that it will be hosting an interactive exhibit called “The Red Forest” at Nuit Blanche in the walking path between University Avenue and Osgoode Lane. Aside from Stranger Things, the forest also has portals inspired by Riverdale and an upcoming original film called Bright. According to a press release, visitors will be given actual hazmat suits to wear, and then they will be able to move through the forests’ portals and “discover areas of mystical foliage reminiscent of the Blossom Maple Farm from Riverdale, trees with bikes growing out of them from Stranger Things and a reactive Orc tree.” The exhibit will also include a version of the Twilight Drive-In from Riverdale.
  2. Hendrick’s Gin’s L.E.V.I.T.A.T.R.E. – Floating nearly 45 feet above the pavement, Hendrick’s Gin’s Levitating Elevating Voluminous Illuminating Tantalizing Amazingly Towering Roaming Eye requires a ticket prior to riding, which you can try to get here, if you’re lucky. Only a few will be able to get them and those who do will get to see a unique bird’s-eye view of Nuit Blanche.
  3. Max-security prison cell – Artist Chak’s Monument to (Im)mobilization is a recreation of a maximum-security prison cell. Filled with artifacts from actual cells, the installation mimics the space in which undocumented migrants and refugees conducted a hunger strike in 2013 in two Ontario prisons, demanding the eradication of immigration detention.
  4. Live installation – Graffiti artist Kwest creates sculptures out of sneakers, organic art installations out of wood and glass. In a downtown installation right in the middle of Yonge and Dundas square, he’ll gather recycled garments and textiles from H&M and transform them into a streamlined work of art, providing commentary on how we live and treat the planet.
  5. Propserity for All – This takes place in collaboration with the EDIT Festival at the old Unilever soap factory at East Harbour. You can explore the first floor of the old industrial site with an installation that imagines a future world.

By: Nazaneen Baqizada

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