Nocturne Quick Picks

Must see events for Saturday's free public art crawl

Curated by Danielle St-Amour, Francesca Tallone
The Khyber, 1588 Barrington Street
Zone 1: Downtown Halifax

It's a TV party at the Khyber featuring videos from Bridget Moser, Patrick Vezina, Vinh Truong, Brendan Reed, Ray Fenwick, Jessie Rainville, Jacqueline Lachance, Willie Brisco, Steve Wiseman, Jason Harvey, Leah Cameron and Kate O'Connor. Curated by Palimpsest Magazine's Francesca Tallone and Danielle St-Amour, the variety of videos, with the over-arching theme of music, will control your brain for as long as you let them with such evocative topics as Ally McBeal's biological clock, losing your glasses, Whitney Houston, gnomes, the desert, food and more. Tallone believes the collection "strikes an incredible balance with how music and video can become a strange and beautiful visual utopia." SJ

Shelley Mansel, Lia Rinaldo, Helena Roxy Rae
Gallery Page & Strange, 1869 Granville Street
Zone 1: Downtown Halifax
On Twitter #ex3

If grey weather has you feeling a bit gloomy, fear not---Happy Wash is here. Shelley Mansel, Lia Rinaldo and Helena Roxy Rae have dreamed up a cheery carwash-style installation where the participant passes through a simulated rinse, wash, scrub, buff, shine and dry. "After taking in last year's Nocturne as viewers, we were really inspired to put something together and participate ourselves," says Mansel. A fun pick for adults and kids alike, Happy Wash promises to be a trip for the senses. And how can you expect to feel afterwards? "Certified Happy," Mansel says. "No, seriously. And you'll probably want to do it again." JF

SMU Business Development Centre, Students in Free Enterprise, Project U-Turn
Zone 1: Downtown Halifax
1546 Barrington Street, temporary exhibition space
On Twitter #ex30

Mandalas, or circles, represent "the central point of an individual's innermost being," according to this exhibit. And they just might have the potential to heal. The Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre and Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) have been working with at-risk kids from Project U-Turn. They've taught these kids skills such as personal reflection and communication by working with mandalas---circles that are common in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Since circles exist in all aspects of life, the organizations believe that creating mandalas is a healing experience. Find out if that's possible at the corner of Barrington Street and Blowers after 6pm. HB

Young In Lee
TD Bank, 1785 Barrington Street
Zone 1: Downtown Halifax
On Twitter #ex7

The desire to "make a joke and share it with everybody" is part of the motivation behind Young In Lee's Rotating Mushrooms installation, where a pair of mushrooms the height of a human, constructed from iron wire and sheer mesh fabric (materials chosen to give "firmness and softness") will turn in circles at the TD Bank on Barrington. The location "might not make sense, but that sarcastic and humorous context is part of the work," Lee explains. And be prepared to blush: Lee expects the public reaction to the unexpected fungi to be "embarrassment, a puzzled expression and bashfulness". JF

Nathan Patterson
Citadel Hill National Historic Site, behind Old Town Clock, Brunswick Street
Zone 1: Downtown Halifax
On Twitter #ex11

Nathan Patterson knows how to get a message across, loud and clear. On Saturday night you'll find the Halifax artist giving lots of love via his multimedia installation stationed near the Citadel Hill's famed clock tower. Head to the Brunswick facing side of the landmark to see if perhaps you, or yours, are lucky enough to be the recipient of one of these very sweet---and very public---shout-outs. Sure, the night's all about art, but at this stop, it's all about you. AS

Scott Saunders, Ariel Nasr
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1723 Hollis Street and Bedford Row
Zone 1: North waterfront/downtown Halifax
On Twitter #ex1a

View the physical structure of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in a completely new light. Halifax's Scott Saunders and Kabul-based Ariel Nasr transform Ondaatje Court and Bedford Row to create a maze-like postmodern experience. Instead of containing art, AGNS becomes art. While Bedford Row enchants viewers with life-size video screens with scenes of Kabul, Afghanistan, rhythmic and moving, Ondaatje Court features television monitors, sculpture-like varying in size, shape and year. Transfixed by the relationship between Kabul and Halifax, body and movement, Saunders and Nasr explore large-scale and haunting imagery. Think audio, visual, video and all-encompassing experience, re-contextualizing the city's provincial art house.SWC

Mary-Anne Wensley
Marginal Road between Garrison Brewery & Pier 21
Zone 2: Halifax waterfront
On Twitter #ex32h

Who doesn't love a good pun and a sweet treat? If you're in zone two---the Halifax waterfront---on the night of Nocturne, keep your eyes open and your jaw agape for a coat filled with gumballs, worn by Mary-Anne Wensley. The artist will be wandering aimlessly along Marginal Road between the Garrison Brewery and Pier 21. If you approach her and choose a gumball, she will cut into the "membrane" of the coat and squeeze it out for your chewing pleasure. Wensley promises an intimate exchange with a more sinister action: "This performance is in keeping with the mood of the carnival: excessive consumption, absurd costuming, revelling in the street."HB

Law Courts Building, 1815 Upper Water Street
Zone 2: Halifax waterfront
On Twitter #ex33

WS Gilbert may have written a version of operetta Disorder in Court over 100 years ago, but themes and situations remain timeless. Join the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of NS for a production of Trial by Jury or Disorder in Court at Nocturne. "During the Victorian era, if a man failed to marry a woman to whom he was engaged, he may be forced to pay compensation to her and her family," Emma Whitley says. "In 1868, WS Gilbert wrote a single page illustrated comic poem for a magazine. Later expanded into a one-act operetta Trial by Jury."SWC

Ben Gallagher and Zoe Nudell
CBC Building, 1601 South Park Street
Zone 3: Spring Garden and universities
On Twitter #ex51

Ben Gallagher and Zoe Nudell have built a machine from repurposed refuse whose inner workings are so mysterious you'll have to get inside to see what the Think Tank is all about. "In my mind, writing---or anything creative really---comes out of an inclination to pay attention to the world and notice things," says Gallagher of the interactive installation. "It's a consciousness shift, I guess, and at the core is the idea that the ordinary world is actually a fairly mysterious place." So during your Nocturne travels, don't just look---get in there and discover what makes up the common---and yet strange---heart of the machine.AS

Lisa Lipton and guests
Seasons, Hotel Atlantica, 1980 Robie Street
Zone 4: North end Halifax
On Twitter #ex63

Artist Lisa Lipton has a syrupy-sweet romantic side. Her desire? To swoon Halifax with Strangers at Night. Lipton offers a full on courtship--- tuxedos, red wine, red roses, lounge singing and all. "I became obsessed with satiny sounds, emphatic or sentimental singing styles and the desire to experience a visual context for moody musical performances within a lounge," says Lipton. "I knew I wanted to appropriate and enliven the Hollywoodized idea of lounge entertainment that I had been carrying with me. I wanted to make the image and idea come to life my way. Like Sinatra." SWC

Zachary Gough
Zone M: Mobile projects in multiple zones
On Twitter #ex79

October 15 isn't just the day that Nocturne consumes the city, it's also the start of Nova Scotia's coyote-trapping season. "It seemed to me to be a misplaced attempt to solve a problem," says Zachary Gough of the $20 bounty instated in 2010. "The problem is not that we have too many coyotes, but that we, as a society, have little respect for the natural landscape." In response to the provincial government's quick fix for the coyote problem Gough's mobile exhibit will bring life to some of the 2,600 pelts captured last year in a "part political protest, part coyote memorial, part ghost walk, part welcoming ceremony." AS


The only way navigating Nocturne could be easier is if those hard-working volunteers had provided mini-Shetland ponies for every HRM citizen to ride around town. While you think on how cute that would be, get the Nocturne app, and browse it while riding one of two free chartered Metro Transit buses to the outlying zones, or an Ambassatours double decker bus in the downtown core, Spring Garden and Port of Halifax area. If you prefer to hoof it, see for information on Dream City walking tours. You can hook up with the Halifax Cycling Coalition for group cycling tours or go it alone and make use of the Bike Valet in front of the Spring Garden Library (they also check skateboards and strollers). Don’t forget fun on the ferry with performances from Compania Azul, Mufaro Chakabuda, Halifax Uke Gang, Z Circus, Smokin’ Contra Band and Windom Earle. Also, this year marks the first ever Accesible Nocturne, providing wheelchair users a comfortable tour of the sights. The magic bus will take on the night from 8-10pm, departing from the Spring Garden Library. To reserve get at

For extra excitement on the road, see how many projects you spot that embody the unofficial Nocturne theme of water, light or municipal works. While you’re at it, get on the Twitter machine with #nocturne2011 and the appropriate hashtags for the exhibits.

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