No. 13: Art as a Necessity
Last night was nuit blanche in Paris—the annual October evening where the whole city of Paris plays host to an all-night arts and cultural fête. This year, and I am kicking myself for somehow missing this seemingly impossible-to-miss spectacle, the night commencé avec four helicopters flying over Paris, each one containing one member of a string quartet, playing an avant-garde melody, joyfully broadcast into the night.
Having missed that, Superman and I did finally get our act together around 23h and joined in, strolling hand-in-hand through the warm autumn night.
Along with thousands of our closest friends, we spent the evening and early hours of the morn wondering through the streets exploring the contemporary art scene and stumbling upon all sorts of artistic expression. The white night included fantastical arts installations, live music and dance performances, films and performance art, fog sculptures, light shows, colossal playgrounds, and hands-on art workshops for children or those with le coeur d’enfant.
Museums, art galleries, cultural centers, cafés and restaurants stayed open all night, and hundreds of other events were on offer free of charge. The city center, like Cinderella’s pumpkin, was magically transformed into a sparkling gala, dedicated uniquely to art. Along the Seine curious art installations materialized out of the mist, and throngs of young people gyrated to the pulse of the night. At midnight a dazzling pyrotechnic display filled the sky.
Watching the planned parties and impromptu merrymaking overflow into the streets, I felt so incredibly lucky to be part of a place that values and celebrates art and creative expression, and feels sure that art is not just frivolous, but necessary.
commencé avec: began with
le coeur d’enfant: a heart of a child
Nuit blanche: white night, light night; an annual all-night or night-time arts festival
Passer une nuit blanche: to have a sleepless night, to pull an all nighter, stay up all night