03 October 2009

Nuit Blanche

Nuit Blanche (literally, "White night") is a French expression for "all-nighter," and is also the name of an all-night spectacle throughout the city of Metz, and other cities throughout France. It's a celebration of art, performance, music, food, and life, and completely unlike anything I've ever experienced before.  

Fellow assistants Kappes, Elli, Liz, Cole and I ventured out to enjoy the festivities, which included various modern art installations (including edible art, a wall of "anatomically correct" illustrations, and a house with various colored lights and animations in the windows synced to music) and performance artists (including ballet dancers, a scantily clad man writhing around in a tube of water, a trio of hairy, shirtless men jamming in a rock band while wearing gas masks and making bird noises, various rock and rap concerts, and even a kebob station operated by high school students and fashioned completely out of duct tape.) 

Sipping hot wine sold in the streets and snapping photos of our amazing surroundings, the we roamed the city late into the night. It was simply impossible to see everything, so we abandoned our maps and let chance be our guide, wandering wherever our fancy lead us.
The honey colored buildings of Metz gleamed against the night sky, and the illuminated Cathédrale Saint-Etienne dominated the night landscape of Metz, every bit "God's Lantern." Metz was on display for all to enjoy. The streets were amazingly crowded with all ages who flocked to the various attractions and participating local shops, schools, landmarks, churches, museums and restaurants, and it was a proud moment to witness this strong sense of community in such a beautiful city... my city.  Still trying to wrap my mind around that!

Cool art installation in the streets... It's like someone had dumped massive piles of Pick-Up Sticks at various places throughout Metz. Notice the intriguing shadows!

Chapel of the Knights Templar, 13th century AD

Interior frescoes, Chapel of the Knights Templar, 13th century AD

Saint Pierre aux Nonnains Basilica, 
the oldest church in France, 4th century AD

Sans Titre, 2008, a modern art piece by Anish Kapoor,
displayed in Eglise des Trinitaires

Dance performance in a lycée

Edible art in the Hotel de Ville. Pieces of this raisin cake 
were cut from the installation and served to the crowd.

Scantily clad tube man (a rather interesting performance artist who sang in Italian before stripping down while writhing suggestively in a tube of water, chasing a red rubber ball, accompanied by music.) You'd really have to be there to understand :-)

Cool modern art tents

The crowds of Messins

Cool art installation, benches strewn all over

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