"Infotainment? What the hell are you talking about?"


It*s Nuit Blanche again! People get no sleep, no rest, but lots of booze apparently.
Read this article of the LAT to get into the concept of this cultural phenomenon, before scrolling down to my pictures:

"Paris pulled an all-nighter over the weekend, from dusk Saturday to dawn Sunday, for its annual Nuit Blanche, or White Night, a cultural extravaganza that attracted a record 2 million people this year. Armed with cameras, cellphones and maps, people came from all over the city and suburbs to roam among 150 art exhibits, installations, "happenings" and performances.

This idea of infusing the city with culture over one night was originated six years ago by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe and has spread to capitals across Europe -- and this year to the Middle East and the United States.

Paris has long sent new ideas into the world -- about the rights of man, about proper hemlines, about new ideas. This new new idea is to hand the city over to contemporary artists, the more experimental the better, and allow them to unleash their creativity into the shadows of public spaces: in churches, on building facades, around courtyards of historic mansions, even inside telephone booths.

Everything is free to spectators, and the cost to the city is relatively low, organizers say. Paris spent about 1.5 million euros (just over $2 million) this year -- less than one euro a person."

We (foreign french correspondents Anne-Laure and Benjamin, and myself) started our evening at daylight in the galleries of the Marais, for a special exhibition at Perrotin*s newly opened space, presenting a fun balloon piece by Peter Coffin.the little red balloon slowly making its way to freedom, while everyone waits for the moment he is cut loose and is headed for the open skylight above
"How long do we have to watch this?"
There he finally goes! Who*d have known this piece would start the concept of the whole evening in a completely involuntary way?
Ah! Urban waste art! My personal concept, elaborated during the whole evening!
No photos please, I haven*t got my glasses on!
The metro taking us to Neuilly where our Nuit Blanche Express is parked
(good thing my foreign correspondents have a car...)
Haha! Look at that face! Priceless! Just 149 Euros!
Benjamin going for the money shot
On our way to Versailles, we try to get in shape with the sound of Marilyn Manson and other hardcore ear-destroying demons of the night... outch!

Versailles! Weeeeeee! Let*s get some cake!
A piece by Natacha Lesueur in the grand Gabriel staircase
A Murano glass skeleton by Adel Abdessemed in the recently restored Galerie des Glaces
Experiencing the hall of mirrors by night is absolutely indescribable!
Restoration work going on in the queen*s state salons

In the Galerie des Batailles, built under Louis-Philippe, the graphic designers M/M installed take-away balloons for the visitors to grab as a souvenir

We got balloons! Weeeeee!

I got one too!
"Yo! Buy our new cd!"
The salon of Peace seen from the gardens
look! We are so creative, even our shadows are photogenic!
Gino Dominicis installed this huge skeleton, lying between two water parterres in front of the Grande Galerie
The gardens by night! Sooo beautiful!
Another balloon oriented installation by Thierry Dreyfus, where visitors are given balloons at the entry of a bosquet, and then move into the center onto a blue light column shining into the night sky. You then make a wish and let your balloon go into the light...
Dreams and wishes on their way to confuse airline pilots
Yes, we wore our boots!
Aaaaah! I*m too light for this balloon! Someone grab me before I fly away!
A music and song installation in the "Salle de Bal", with singers and artists performing french classics in a new way. This was also the very moment when the rugby game came to an end, and the french had won! A huge wave of cheers moved all of a sudden through the crowds as the news got carried on from person to person. This must also have been the moment when the alcohol consumption in Paris really took off...
I made a small video of some of their songs. You don*t see much, but you can listen to it...

Inside of the Orangerie, an installation by John Armleder put everyone into a dancing disco mood, with funky shiny disco balls!
Groovy! Funky! Shiny!

In the middle of it all, a sculpture of the Sun King is watching
Another movie, of the Orangerie, with sound and fun:

A light installation in the Ecuries (the old royal stables)

Back in Paris, we noted that the ambiance was much more crowded, and the amount of beer bottles and such was very visible in some people*s faces...
The installation on the St Eustache church facade, with old people*s faces on body builder*s bodies
At a busy intersection of the boulevard de Sébastopol, we got attacked by people throwing cobblestones and bricks at the people. Everyone took cover, but unfortunately, no police in sight.
These art installations were my favorites! Nothing better than art made by the people, without any intention of creating something special...

A wonderfully lit place...
The Tuileries Garden was filled with burning balls, and a huge burning chandelier, and lots of other things that were on fire...

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  1. # Blogger Tom J. Byrne

    It's amazing that people don't leave comments more often. Not very encouraging. So here is mine. Very nice report Cedric. You look totally different in photos.  

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    I am Cedric, discoverer of things that would go unnoticed in the streets of Paris, historic haven of fashionistas and city of lights ('lights' as in 'enlightenment', not street lights).
    But seriously: I'm an expat from Luxembourg (the country, not the garden), living in the center of Paris (hence 'Paris 2nd arrondissement'), and currenlty studying architectural history...

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