Art Terrorism at Nuit Blanche

We armed ourselves with markers, plastic guns and gin, and marched in formation to Yorkville.

On the way we stopped to put stickers on Liberal and Conservative party lawn signs. We struggled to come up with adequately angry slogans for the female-insecurity-triggering ads outside a cosmetic dermatology spa.

The first gallery we reached on Yorkville Ave. had a policeman monitoring the red velvet rope. (Maybe they knew we were coming.) We moved on to the next gallery, streamed in with the lineup, handed out a few Manifestos and quietly told people “There is art outside the gallery too!”

manifesto of the artiste elite

Fees and corporate swag are barriers to good art. Zombies are so Last Year. This year is about an art terrorist REVOLUTION!

…a bunch of people at … a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers [OR SCOTIABANK?] claiming their subsidies aren’t high enough… – I’m not sure that’s something that resonates with ordinary people
— Stephen Harper

Open your eyes. Art is spectacular, art is for everyone! Art is everywhere and everything, not just found in galleries (those cemeteries of wasted effort, calvaries of crucified dreams, registers of false starts*).

We declare war on the media and its mediocrity!

Signée Marie-Claude, Serge, Ségolène, et Pamplemousse

* Futurist Manifesto, F. T. Marinetti, 1909

On the steps outside that gallery, we launched into full revolutionary zeal. We sidewalk chalked, we stickered, we gave people instant art pieces. By the time a store sign inspired us to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, we had quite an audience. People were very receptive to our handouts and our (highly variable) messages.

We moved down the street, where I left an angry feminist sign outside the Claritins boutique (which was doing brisk business with women bored of the art). We had been encountering other Nuit Blanchers in costumes, so I happily traded handouts with a tall woman wearing a canvas around her face. It turned out she was shilling for another f’ing cosmetic dermatologist! Anyone want a $100-Off coupon?!!

After a little more radicalizing, we made ready to raid a local inn for sustenance. But the road to the Duke of Gloucester was a target-rich environment; we stickered the Gap, Starbucks and Scotiabank (of course), shouting Viva la Revoluçion! every block or two.

On the way home we crashed the ROM’s dance party. No-one was dancing inside the crystal, in spite of loud music and colourful projections. We allowed ourselves to be herded past a fairly dreadful corporate-sponsored art show, but by then we’d run out of printed manifestos. Next time, we’ll start by invading a photocopy shop!

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