Healing for the City of Lights: Nuit Blanche

Healing for the City of Lights: Nuit Blanche

NUIT BLANCHE, (FRENCH FOR ALL-NIGHTER) ART FESTIVAL BEGAN IN PARIS IN OCTOBER, 2002. THE CITY OF LIGHTS MADE AN ANUAL ONE-NIGHT SPECTACLE OF CONTEMPORARY ART INSTALLATIONS ALL THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

 

Every year the marker of Autumn for the art world begins the first Saturday of October a celebratory beginning of Fall in the Paris. This art festival has spread to many other cities around the world that typically work alongside museums, galleries and public spaces for all people to enjoy.

 

Saint Merri

This year in Paris's celebration of it’s Nuit Blanche the recent tragedies that have plageud the country can be felt in its art installations around the city. The terrorist attacks such as the shootings that took place in Paris and its native people can still be felt all around teh city. Most notably, Saint-Merri held a massive installation inside the cathedral by artist Pedro Marzorati. Upon entering the cathedral the viewer is met by the sound of an organ booming through the walls and clothes suspending high from the ceiling.

 Saint Merri during the day

Saint Merri during the day

With just illumination of the artwork at night the viewer is confronted with the enormity of the installation. “Higher than Heaven” which is a play off of the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The biblical story is about a tower that men created in hope to reach God. They built this tower without God and as a result God scatters the people across the earth and divides them with their own languages creating "confusion."

In the case of the installation the tower is not made of stone but of chairs and clothing. Chairs are stacked on top of each other while the clothes are suspended from the ceiling and are hanging above.

 

Marzorati's hope and vision

In a world where information is passed to one another so quickly, Marzorati highlights how as a culture we are able to be informed but yet unaffected in problems of society. We become spectators of tragedies. He welcomes the viewers to engage with the idea of the difficulties we face as we communicate our different problems without true understanding due to our limitations or "confusion" just like the Tower of Babel.

Picture of construction inside Saint Merri

 

In the wake of Paris’s own loss this last year the clothes hanging from the ceiling are representations of the victims of the terrorist attacks. The clothes reflect attire for men, women, children of all ages. The chairs below are representative of viewers that can come and observe the clothes vulnerably suspended above. Marzorati seeks for the viewer to contemplate the “beyond” or heaven which he proposes is both in and above us.

 

While we are not able to fully understand the tragedies and its affects in paris or around the world we have created towers or hopes to understand each other. We are in our own search of finding healing and wholeness in a world of uncertainty, including Paris.