On 1 October 2016, the contemporary all-night art festival ‘Nuit Blanche’ takes place across the city’s streets and monuments. A major cultural event in the capital, it is a free invitation to Parisians and tourists to engage with works of art by national and international artists. Sculptures, projections, concerts and spectacular installations are scattered around the city, both on and off the official programme. A great way to spend a memorable white night!
This 15th edition celebrates love and it is Poliphile, a character from a 15th-century novel in search of his beloved, who becomes the visitor's guide, during this Nuit Blanche. The numerous artworks will this year be laid out along the Seine. Here is a selection of 10 must-sees to get you started.
Anish Kapoor, « Descension »
Square du vert-Galant, Place du Pont-Neuf (1st), 7pm-7am
The British artist offers an intriguing artwork: a vortex in the middle of the Seine. A seemingly-natural whirlpool that puts to the test the hypnotic attraction that the abyss has for us. An doubtedly curious installation.
Philip Glass by Nicolas Horvath, « Glassworlds »
Philharmonie de Paris (19th), 7pm-7am
Contemporary music fans, take note: the pianist Nicolas Horvath takes up the challenge of interpreting the entire piano works of Philip Glass in chronological order of composition, for twelve hours. A veritable minimalist music experience.
Erwin Olaf, « L’Eveil – Portrait n° 1 »
City Hall,rue de Lobau(1st), 8:30pm-7am
All through the night, strange faces and bodies, real or fantasy, cover the facade of the City Hall. Projected by the Dutch photographer and videographer, these figures seem to have come out of a dream and invite passers-by to silence.
Christian Rizzo, « Before last night »
Installation, Hôtel Dieu, Place du Parvis de Notre-Dame (4st), 7pm-7am
Above the inner courtyard of the oldest hospital in Paris, a mirror disc has been suspended and reflects fragments of the neo-classical architecture of the building and the moving images of spectators. As it sways, the images disappear and reappear amongst which the apparition of a mystical silhouette.
Karim Zeriahen, « We are Catherine Deneuve »
Tribunal du commerce, 1 quai de la Corse(4th), 7pm-7am
Three screens at the Tribunal de Commerce show continuous film footage of movie extracts starring the French film star Catherine Deneuve. A great way to explore the career of the actress and her transformation from film to film, evoking different memories.
Olivier Beer, « Live Stream »
Pont des Arts(6th), 7pm-7am
With an immersive installation at the Pont des Arts, the British artist reveals the underwater life of the Seine to passers-by. He will mix sounds captured from the depths of the river and illuminate the water with a fluorescent halo inspired by Thai fishing techniques. A sound and light show not to be missed.
Le Crazy Horse Paris présente ses Muses
Jardin du Petit Palais (8th), 8pm-1am
The dancers of the famous Parisian cabaret put on a single performance in the garden of the Petit Palais. In a bewitching and dreamlike show, they enthral visitors with their sinuous choreography and diaphanous dresses, and add a touch of glamour to this night-time promenade.
Estelle Delesalle et Jean-Marc Ferrari : « De Amore: 2 – The Hermitage of Consolations »
Passerelle Debilly (7th), 8pm-7am
Love is at the heart of this Nuit Blanche and broken hearts have their place here. To heal them, magicians, shoemakers and other experts in consolation offer to hear the heartaches of visitors and mend the broken hearts picked up on the Arcole Bridge. Unique and romantic performances to experience alone or in the company of someone.
Géraldine Py & Roberto Verde, « The Storehouse »
BHV Marais, delivery area, 38 rue de la verrerie(4th), from 7pm and until stocks are all used up.
A strange mist invades the delivery dock of the Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville. A line of fire extinguishers spew out carbon dioxide behind a metal shutter that rises and falls at regular intervals, making the space more and more opaque and oppressive. An unexpected and fascinating show.
Saâdane Afif, Davide Balula, Ola Maciejewksa, Loïe Fuller
Cycle of performances
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (6th), 8pm-2am
The Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts is the theatre for several different types of performance: songs recited to indifferent marble statues, a silk dress in movement almost completely enveloping the dancer wearing it, a piece of theatre questioning interpretation and even a man making a fiery speech ... A series of events that will not fail to surprise visitors.
Nuit Blanche also has a trail for children. (Information, in French, on the website of the event).
The metro and the tram network are operating until 2am in the morning. Lines 1 and 9 will serve some stations all night.
The Batobus will transport visitors all night (from 9.30pm, for free, to the following stations: Hôtel de Ville, Notre Dame, Saint-Germain des Prés, Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Champs-Élysées, Tour Eiffel, Beaugrenelle.
The free Nuit Blanche app (available for iOs and Android), enables you to find works to see, district by district, and so organize your visit.