Oct 7th, 2018, 11:34 PM

Paris Lights Up the Night: A Nuit Blanche Review

By Joan Jessiman
Image credit: Lucy Ewert
From parties at Invalides to jungle plants taking over the metro, Paris' 2018 Nuit Blanche did not disappoint.

Paris’ 17th year of Nuit Blanche, also known as "White Night”, went off last weekend without a hitch. The streets were filled with art installations, pop-ups, performances, and music. This year Gael Charbau was the independent curator and he wanted Parisians to “discover the works and artists in full performance,” according to an interview in Sortir a Paris.

For Nuit Blanche not only do museums, exhibits, and performances stay open late but many restaurants and cafés do as well. The night is meant to be fun and accessible with different options for everyone. So how did you spend your Nuit Blanche? Did you pack your night full of exhibits? Music? Wine? If not, there are still exhibits and installations open across the city.

You most probably went to the electro party at Invalides. What is normally an area where you have to dodge either people, cars or both, the city sectioned it off for a huge electro party featuring Norwegian and Swedish artists  DJ Lindstrøm, Axel Boman and Kornél Kovács. The artists played until the early morning  just across from another Nuit Blanche event on Pont Alexandre. Paris' arguably most famous bridge was open for pedestrians, which is a very rare sight. There was a roller derby event on the bridge as well as a dance party that went all night. Not far along the river was a music and moving light performance at the Eiffel Tower. 


Image Credit: Flikr/Jose Sousa

Maybe you already get your fill of dancing and music in your weekly clubbing excursions. If you opted for a more traditional route of visiting museums and galleries, hopefully you got what you wanted. At the Musee L'Orangerie, there was free entry all night accompanied by musical concerts. The Institut du Monde Arabe was also open all night and had an exhibit by Youssef Abdelke, a Syrian exile in Paris who uses pastels to represent the situation in Syria. The Musee du Luxembourg also participated in the event, welcoming visitors to their newest exhibit of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha's work. The exhibit, which opened on September 11, includes paintings and famous advisement posters from the artist. 

Image Credit: Lucy Ewert

A very popular exhibit thus far has been the opening of the Basquiat exhibit at the Foundation Louis Vuitton.  A junior at AUP, Lucy Ewert said that it was amazing, "I'm a huge fan of Basquiat and I've never been to this museum before. Both blew me away." The exhibit opened on October 3 and covers the entire life of the painter, includes over 120 works. There are pieces that haven't been seen as well as pieces done in collaboration with Warhol. This exhibit as well as many of the others are still open to visitors during normal hours. 


Image Credit: Flikr/VinceTravller

These were just a few of the amazing art openings and events that Paris had to offer this past weekend. Others included statues appearing on the banks of Lake Daumesnil, a 22-hour concert at the Philharmonie, free entrance to the Zoo - though I was told that the animals were all asleep - as well as exhibits at the Petit and Grand Palais.

A fun art installation was put on metro line 1 by artist Florian Viel and his Tropicool Company. Viel, with the okay from RATP, installed a jungle of plants on cars at the end of metro line one. Florian Viel was not just content on introducing a moving greenhouse in the underground Paris, but invited each Parisian to become, 'one with the plant.' This moving exhibit hopefully will be seen by many as people make their way to work each day.  The plants have been installed in various stations and continue to go up on platforms. The plants are meant to improve air quality and the environment of metro spaces. SInce 2016 a goal of the RATP was to make the metros more green. They hired two companies that "specialize in urban landscape architecture and plant design," according to the RATP website. The Nuit Blanche exhibit only furthers this work and allows Parisians to enjoy nature on their commute. No matter how you chose to spend your Nuit Blanche 2018, whether it was dancing in the streets, watching a light show, or enjoying time with friends, it's clear that Paris knows how to throw a city-wide party.