Lauren Franceschini

Art Night: London to receive their own “nuit blanche”

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A light art display at Paris' Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night)

A light art display at Paris’ Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night)

Mark your calendars for 6pm the night of July 2nd and get ready to watch London transform into a stage for a series of large-scale art installations and performances for one night only. Inspired by the “nuit blanches” (sleepless nights) popular in Paris, Art Night is set to become London’s newest annual contemporary arts festival. From a luxury flat on the Strand to a disused Jubilee line platform in Charing Cross Underground station, the event will take place in a range of buildings and public spaces across Westminster. Think of it as a one-night, summertime Lumiere London. In addition to installations, Art Night will also feature theatre, film, dance, and a giant exercise class, led by the Chinese artist Xu Zhen, in the courtyard of Somerset House. 

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The disused tube stop in Charing Cross Station to be used during Art Night

Art Night was conceived and organised by Unlimited Productions and was curated by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).  Gregor Muir, Director of ICA, says: “Art Night builds on the ICA’s experiences of working in unusual locations with our Off-Site programme and adds to its rich history of presenting ambitious cross-disciplinary work by leading artists…We wanted to take people on a tour of not just the history of this area in terms of tourist attractions but also in terms of its recent history and it’s an area where we are as likely to find luxury apartments as we are these wonderful iconic locations” There will be video projections in Covent Garden, a disused Jubilee line platform at Charing Cross will be filled with perfume, choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis will present a new work at Two Temple Place and Turner Prize-winner Laure Prouvost will take over Admiralty Arch. Danish artist Nina Beier, who works with paintings and photography, is presenting a show in a flat in the new 190 Strand building where three-bedroom properties sell for almost £10 million.

“As the sun goes down, Londoners and visitors alike will be able to experience the city in a new way. They will see iconic landmarks in a new light, and have the chance to explore unexpected and often hidden locations. Kathy Noble, Curator 

For a full list of performances and venues, head over to Artlyst’s article. Although all Art Night events will be free, indoor events will be ticketed in advance in an attempt to combat long queues in the small hours that have become a regular feature of the Paris event. Next year’s Art Night has already been decided and will focus on the East End in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery.

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