The Half-Lit Moon

Saturday, September 26. 7pm — 4am

Yoko Ono once noted that the paradoxical litmus test to determine cynicism or optimism is inherently flawed. The glass is neither half-empty nor half-full, it is all full: fifty percent with water and fifty percent with air. The observation suggests hopefulness, but ultimately bypasses the dilemma entirely. It serves as a useful, loose, framework for the works in Edmonton’s inaugural Nuit Blanche. These projects include video, audio, sculpture, and installation, many with a performative or interactive element.

Martin Creed’s Half the Air of Any Given Space calculates the volume of a space and fills half with inflated balloons. Visitors are invited to walk through Edmonton’s Pedway network and experience childlike euphoria and mild claustrophobia in equal measure. The inflatable castles stacked in Jon Sasaki’s performance Bouncy Highrise represent a Sisyphean task, a seemingly futile gesture attempted anyway. Sasaki has said of his work that it intends to convey the belief that it is better to do most types of something, than most types of nothing.

Common expressions about ‘Nothing’ and ‘Something’ form the entire script of Kelly Mark’s ten-minute video work 108 Leyton Avenue, in which she argues with herself, in duplicate. Sasha Krieger’s Soliloquy is a collaged video comprised of scenes from movies where a lost or isolated character calls out, only to hear the returning echo of his or her own voice. Andrew Buszchak’s Beacon animates the existing lighting systems in downtown high-rises, using them to convey slow motion binary code messages which presumably fall on predominantly deaf ears.

vsvsvs is a seven-person collective equally interested in construction and destruction. The artists will build a hockey rink and operate a steam roller on it, driving over a variety of objects over the course of the evening. Ali Nickerson’s Blue Christmas presents a kitsch Christmas Wonderland workshop in September. Visitors submit wish-lists and Nickerson and her elves fashion makeshift gifts for them to collect later in the evening.

Yoko Ono’s Wish Trees will represent the largest presentation to date of one of the artist’s signature works. A hundred-and-twenty-one trees will be temporarily installed in Winston Churchill Square, where Nuit Blanche volunteers will distribute pencils and tags. Visitors are asked to each write a wish and affix it to the branches of the trees until they are covered, looking like white flowers blossoming from afar. A banner reading Imagine Peace, pointedly displayed on the exterior of City Hall, reinforces Ono’s core belief in the personal and political power of wishful thinking.

This exhibition is curated by Dave Dyment. View the complete list of works here.