Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Photo: © AFP, Joel Saget
Have you ever spent a nuit blanche in Paris, walking around sleepless all night long? Here’s a good reason to do it: Next weekend, starting at 22 pm on Saturday 6 of October until Sunday morning next day, takes place the 11th edition of the famous nighttime festival of the arts. Paris will be transformed into an open-air gallery with museums and galleries open all night.
Works will be displayed and performances will take place all night long. Artists from all generations and nationalities, established or emerging, will attend. Besides performances and shows on display, they will be even conferences and, you’re in France after all, “cuisine” going on.
Moreover, many cultural institutions will open their doors: the Palais de Tokyo, the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris, the Guimet Museum, the National Superior School of Fine Art, the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Louvre Museum, you name it.
Access to all works and events is free and, for a change, there is no reservation necessary. A free mobile application is available for iPhone and Android that offers you a complete catalogue of works and all practical informations.
What’s new this year? Everything I’d like to say. There are art-tracks that will help you to discover Paris: Following the path from Ivry in the East to the Maison de la Radio in the West, your way will be paved with events and surprises.
It’s Laurent Bon, the go-getting director of the new Centre Pompidou in Metz, who’s in charge with the program this year. He’s the one who had invited Murakami and Jeff Koons to the Château de Versailles. And he’s the one who had the idea of a wandering path through Paris connecting the East and the West, the richer and the poorer part of the city.
The Seine is somehow the backbone, the central theme of the night. The banks of the Seine will be closed for traffic: there will be dance (“Paris à l’infinie” by Julie Desprairies) and fireworks, sorry, I wanted to say pyrotechnical art, of course. The famous Groupe F has conceived a monumental piece, which will be travelling all night long on the Seine. You’ll be able to see the dance of the controlled flames on the river from 10pm until 6 in the morning.
Another thing: A lot of spots will be open to the public, which usually are inaccessible to the mortal ones. Ever dreamed of visiting the abutments of Pont Louis Philippe? The moment has finally come. And for the first time visitors are allowed access to fifteen unobstructed viewpoints located along the path. What about visiting the Tour Zamanskiy of Jussieu, the University situated in the 5th arrondissement, just a stone’s throw away from the Seine? I guess the view will be just amazing.