On June 3, 2023, Nuit Blanche returns for its 22nd edition, transforming the streets and landmarks of Paris into a showcase of contemporary art.
Parisians and tourists are invited to explore over 200 artistic projects by national and international artists, including sculptures, projections, concerts, and temporary installations. One notable project, Geometric Resonances, simultaneously takes place in Paris, Rouen, and Le Havre, highlighting the Seine axis in anticipation of the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
In this edition the forecourt of the Hôtel de ville becomes a vibrant and interactive space curated by Kitty Hartl, the artistic director. Starting from 7 p.m., the forecourt is animated by hybrid creatures performing the “Danse des Lions,” an acrobatic display featuring dancers in lion costumes, and the “Yétis pop,” eccentric characters on rollerblades adorned with colorful ribbons.
To engage families, children aged 6 to 10 receive reissued costumes called “Playsack,” inspired by 12 animals and designed by Fredun Shapur. Two marching bands, one combining brass with electro rhythms and the other featuring guitars and percussion, roam along the banks of the Seine from 9 p.m.
Emblematic projects grace the Seine, honoring this edition of Nuit Blanche. “Opera River” and “Street Opera,” created by Kitty Hartl and Mauro Gioia, fill the air with opera tunes played from gramophones installed on gondolas gliding on the Arsenal Basin. A soprano singer walks between the Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis, lending her voice to these melodious performances.
In the Henry IV tunnel on the Seine’s banks, artist Maïder Fortuné presents a mysterious video projection of a unicorn against a black background. At the tip of Île Saint-Louis, artists Ludmila Rodrigues and Mike Rijnierse offer “Sunset in Paris,” a floating installation that recreates a sunset to be admired from 10 p.m. Another captivating light installation, “Résonances Géotriques” by Javier Riera, awaits visitors at the square du Vert-Galant on the Island of the City.
At the Palais Galliera, Lawrence Malstaf’s choreographed performance “Shrink 01995” combines visual and performing arts to create a weightless ballet. The Petit Palais hosts Rana Gorgani’s choreographic piece, “Danse Soufie,” a continuous and mesmerizing whirl.
Taking the North Route, visitors can experience the immersive nocturnal installation “Le Trapèze des âmes” by the Lao collective at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. This dreamlike journey combines laser projections and sound amidst lush greenery.
Photographer Marie Lemoigne explores femininity in her film series, “On the other side of the mirror,” with landscapes composed of body imprints displayed on the park’s gates and at the Town Hall in the 19th arrondissement.
At the Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville, visitors can discover performances and luminous scenographies during the “Belle de nuit, Ville en vie” event, held in the district’s courtyards and passageways, starting from the gallery reception point.
Nearby, the collective Les Colporteurs presents “The Power of the Humble” at the Métallerie Grésillon, a performance that resonates with the materials of the Métallerie. La Maison de l’Architecture offers the installation “Je Suis Cathédrale,” where visitors can explore sound and visual vibrations from within. Artist Sandra Matamoros presents the luminous and sonorous “Back Home” mirror cube at the Saint-Ambroise church.
The Center Route along the Seine features a monumental octopus installation by street artist Kraken on the facade of the Fluctuart artistic center. Near the Musée d’Orsay, the “RINGdeLUXE” project suspends a huge golden ring above the river.
The Académie du Climat showcases Juliette Somnolet’s positive energy sculpture, “Les Dessous de la Seine,” inspired by algae and underwater flora. In the Marais district, visitors can embark on a visual journey through the universe with Jesus Baptista’s luminous structure, “K2-18B,” at the Cognacq-Jay museum, and Sandrine Elberg’s projection “KOSMOS 01.13.7” at the Saint-Gervais church.
At the Saint-Denys du Saint-Sacrement church, Quentin Derouet invites participants to apply rose petals to a monumental canvas as part of his participatory experience. The Pavillon de l’Arsenal features an electro concert by the giant moles called “Maulwürfe,” envisioned by director Philippe Quesne.
The Centre Pompidou hosts fashion shows and performances, including a participatory collage on the cobblestones by Aristide Barraud, followed by a dreamlike immersion in Camille Juthier’s “From my Vibrant Skin, to My Sighing Heart” chill room.
The South Route caters to cinema enthusiasts with projections of filmmaker Georges Méliès’ works on the facade of the Cinémathèque. The newly established Quai de la photo hosts the levitating performance “Art in Movement” by artist Forgetmat, immersing visitors in a poetic universe through projected photographs. At the cultural center Les Amarres, Julie Coulon communicates her exploration of intimacy, fiction, and chiaroscuro through her video installation, “Kissing in a Cabriolet.”
Shana Rouaix’s installation at the Saint-Louis de la Salpêtrière chapel combines spirituality and emotions with water drops vibrating on a tambourine, creating a sonic and introspective experience. Artist Lydie Arickx dresses the Saint-Séverin church in Saint-Michel with fluid veils decorated with natural pigments and vegetable charcoal in her experience “Les Voiles de Véronique.”
The Guimet Museum offers a mystical exploration through Melody Lu’s video installation, “Devakator,” taking visitors on a dreamlike journey inspired by Père-Lachaise, the Catacombs, and the Flame of Liberty. At the Quai Branly Museum, artist Vernon Ah Kee presents a video installation titled “Gudirr Guddirr,” offering an immersion into Aboriginal culture with the alert-like cry of the Guwayi bird.
In the Greater Paris Metropolis Route, nearly 90 cultural projects unfold along the Seine, providing a unique perspective on the river. Alfortville hosts the DéRives project, a performance on the Seine itself, where transparent silhouettes engage in a luminous ballet. The Love Boat, an artistic cruise in Juvisy-sur-Orge, invites participants to enjoy a 3-hour navigation on the Seine, accompanied by performances, projections, and installations.
The AI Constellation installation by Bertrand Planes on the Saint-Ouen bridge plays with the reflection of river water to recreate a starry sky. In Vitry-sur-Seine, the sound performance “Antiphona” features two conch players communicating between the banks of the Seine, evoking ancestral communication. Artist Yan Tomaszewski presents “Sequana,” an immersive experience where sculptures are submerged in the Seine after a procession from the MAC VAL.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy the participatory performance “SUPERPO” by designer Martin Malte in Bobigny or explore a multidisciplinary journey of sculptures, installations, sound, and olfactory works at Hangar Y in Meudon.
Along the route, there is also a selection of “Cultural Olympiad” projects. These include a show combining Mexican wrestling and burlesque dancing with Lucha VaVoom at Place du Châtelet, a lively ping-pong tournament with a kitsch atmosphere called “The Art of PingPongCountry” on quai d’Austerlitz, and an exhibition of artistic posters related to the Paris 2024 Games on quai de la Mégisserie, illuminating the values of sport and the Olympic Games through art and creation.