Nuit Blanche 2016: a dreamlike fight for love

On the themes of transformation and love, Nuit Blanche 2016 will invite Parisians and visitors to wander along the Seine all night long, from the City Hall to the Ile aux Cygnes and to the Paris of the future... 

During the night of Saturday October 1st from 7:00 p.m. until daybreak visitors will be immersed in a love story, invited to go through many self-transformation challenges just as Poliphile, the hero of this Nuit Blanche who, in an Italian illustrated novel of 1467, dreams his travel in pursuit of Polia with whom he is madly in love. ʻWe wanted to bring together Nuit Blanche fans to celebrate the artists and create a tale which speaks of beauty, mysteries and loveʼ, commented Jean de Loisy, the curator of this 2016 edition.

A trip in the centre of Paris

From the Île de la Cité to the modern Front de Seine, visitors will be taken on a time travel that will carry on to the future Paris with the Société du Grand Paris. Unfolding in the centre of the capital and structured around the Seine river and its bridges, Nuit Blanche will be an opportunity to discover the city differently through a trip designed as a symbolic cartography that invites the visitor to live a love quest.

The return of desirable times, a series created by the writer Yannick Haenel and published in advance of Nuit Blanche, immerses the reader and the visitor in a contemporary version of The Dream of Poliphilus. Episode after episode, the reader will be invited to follow the adventures the protagonist is drawn into after he receives a mysterious newsletter. Following the clues he receives from an unknown speaker, and in a quest which becomes more and more dizzying, the hero will travel to different places in Paris where the works of the Nuit Blanche can be viewed.

A Nuit Blanche in 12 chapters

A few days before the event, the French artist Abraham Poincheval will watch out for the Nuit Blanche from the top of a 15-metre perch. As for Alain Séchas’ emblematic cats, they will place themselves at the Gare de Lyon in the style of a family waiting for the return of a loved one on the quay.

Nuit Blanche and its 12 chapters will offer visitors the opportunity to discover the work of the British artist Oliver Beer who will offer a live mix of the sounds of the Seine ecosystem under the Pont des Arts. Visitors will begin the trip by crossing a mysterious forest arranged by Stéphane Thidet on the City Hall esplanade. Huge bits of wood floating on a frosted lake will form a perpetually moving living sculpture.

Love will be the core theme of this edition, like the heart drawn by Fabrice Hyber for the Nuit Blanche poster. A ‘broken hearts workshop’ will distribute fragmented hearts to visitors, who will be able to get them fixed at the end of the trip in a ‘heart fixing workshop’.

Visitors will also encounter Bridget Polk’s unsteady sculptures. All night long and accompanied by performers, the American artist will never stop building and rebuilding fragile totems along the Seine banks – random piles defying the laws of gravity. Close to the end of the trip, Alain Fleischer will revisit a 1979 project entitled Autant en emporte le vent (Gone with the wind) and will project the image of a woman imperturbably staring at the one who will look at her on a huge fan near the Pont Bir-Hakeim.

Free and open to the public, Nuit Blanche 2016 will keep all the elements that made this major Parisian event a public and artistic success: an open-air gathering of works in the public space, international emerging or experienced artists, and a cooperative approach with other cultural organisations or events.

Important institutions will actively take part into the trip, such as the Musée du Quai Branly, the Petit Palais, Ircam, the Monnaie de Paris and the Théâtre du Châtelet. Many patrons have provided financial or material support. 

Le parcours Nuit Blanche 2016


Right bottom corner, blank insert (left to right, top to bottom) :


INSIDE TRAIL (lower quay)







About Nuit Blanche

Since 2002, the City of Paris has organised Nuit Blanche every first Saturday of October. The aim is to offer the public a great popular and festive event based on the works of art set up in the public space or in emblematic Parisian buildings. Each year, this free event for all welcomes several million visitors. It also exists at the metropolitan scale.

The success met by Nuit Blanche in Paris since its creation in 2002 has led several other capitals and great cities of Europe and of the world to organise their own Nuit Blanche, following the Parisian model. From Brussels to Kyoto, from Melbourne to La Paz, more than 25 cities now organise this event.

Jean de Loisy and the Palais de Tokyo

President of the Palais de Tokyo since June 2011, Jean de Loisy is also an independent curator and has held various functions in many cultural institutions such as the Centre Pompidou and the Fondation Cartier. He took part in many international events including the biennial of Venice in 1993 and 2001, organized the biennial of Kwangju in 1995 as well as memorable historic exhibitions such as “Hors Limites - l’art et la vie” in 1995, “La Beauté” in Avignon in 2000 or “Traces du sacré” at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2008 and “Monumenta/Anish Kapoor” at the Grand Palais en 2011. He designed this edition of Nuit Blanche with the Palais de Tokyo’s curators in order to promote emerging creations.

Find out about Nuit Blanche at

From 26th September 2016, follow the interactive map of Nuit Blanche 2016 on Instagram @nuitblanche2016 (designed by BETC, creative patron of Nuit Blanche 2016).

Download the Nuit Blanche application, available on iPhone and Android from 26th September (designed by SMACH, partner of Nuit Blanche 2016).

Dernière mise à jour le mercredi 21 septembre 2016
Crédit photo : MDP

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