Toronto's Nuit Blanche, now in it's 8th year, typically has a few projects yearly which involve free take-aways that multiples and artists' ephemera collectors might be interested in. Last year Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky made beautiful glowing lanterns out of scanned consumer packaging. In 2008 40,000 Yoko Ono Imagine Peace pins were distributed.
This year's projects include Marian Wihak and Martha Griffith's Take a Penny, (X)Static Clown Factory by Ruth Spitzer & Claire Ironside and FREE LAND by Maggie Groat. The latter features a site in Simcoe Park for "temporary occupation and collective intervention through the excavation and dispersal of public soil."
From seven o'clock tonight until seven tomorrow morning, a hole will be dug in the city park and the unearthed soil (and other items?) will be parceled up and their stewardship entrusted to Nuit Blanche audiences. Early visitors will also receive a lapel pin (pictured above). At the end of the event the resulting hole will be filled with new purchased soil, rendering the gesture of the intervention invisible.
"The park is located along what was once the original shoreline of Lake Ontario, and aptly named for John Graves Simcoe, one of the major developers of early Canada. The built environs of the park resemble nothing of its indigenous roots, and its recent history is one of landfill, concrete and urban development. FREE LANDwonders: What are the implications of relocating and repurposing land? How do the lasting impacts of settler-colonialism and associated attitudes surrounding land use and the commodification of natural resources affect the places we live? Are civic spaces really ours?"
- Maggie Groat
FREE LAND is at 270 Front Street West. Visit the Nuit Blanche site, here, for more information. Groat's exhibition Other Visions & Tools for Alternatives runs until October 5th at Erin Stump Projects.
Nuit Blanche runs from sunset tonight to sunrise tomorrow, rain or shine, and features hundreds of artists including Ai Wei Wei, Diane Borsato, Germaine Koh, vsvsvs, David Harper, David Hoffos, Michel de Broin, Kelly Richardson, Kim Adams, etc. etc.
For suggestions as to what to check out, see Murray Whyte's pics in the Toronto Star, here and Toronto Life's Sue Carter Flinn's choices here.