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Urban Interventions at the 2014 ‘Nuit Blanche’ in Paris

Story & Photos by Caroline Saurel

Borondo in front of his Paris mural painted for Nuit Blanche

Borondo in front of his Paris mural painted for Nuit Blanche

For more than 10 years, Nuit Blanche has been a parisian rendez-vous for the contemporary art lovers, and one of the most popular event of the French capital. But from now, it ought to become a new way to discover street art too. Nuit Blanche takes place during a Saturday night of October. The aim is to offer original productions created for this night in the streets of Paris. Usually, one can discover and sometimes be part of the works (based on light projections, art installations or video screening) during this night only. As a matter of fact, monuments, public transports, restaurants or museums are adapting themselves to Nuit Blanche’s context and public.

Intervention by French artists BRUSK

Intervention by French artist BRUSK

This year, thanks to José-Manuel Gonçalvès, the new director of the event, works from street artists were considered  among the more interesting contemporary art works presented during that incredible arty night. The paradoxical point is that some of the street art works created for Nuit Blanche, such as Borondo’s, Yz’s or Tristan Eaton’s murals rue du Chevaleret,  are going to stay quite a long time on the walls. Even some of Mark Jenkins’s installations are still in the streets several weeks after! Among the short-lived works of Nuit Blanche, usually made for one night, some of the street art ones do represent the timelessness of Art.

Installation by Mark Jenkins

Installation by Mark Jenkins

This particular event manages to offer a new point of view on street art works: first, it contributes to link more closely street art and contemporary art, as it can be seen during the FIAC too (the International Contemporary Art Fair that takes place in Paris each fall) because this year, this art fair is introducing street art works too in the new event called “OFFicielle”. Secondly, street art can  be considered at the same time as an art deeply rooted in the urban environment because one can admire the productions from the street, from a bridge, from the elevated subway or from a building, but that can also be specifically understood by the people as an art that could be found in a museum or a gallery, but is not.

Eventually, Nuit Blanche proves once more, that both Street and Art belong to the people, and it is always more conspicuous in a long-time revolutionary place such as the city of  Paris. Remember that Le Louvre was first a castle for the king of France, before it became one of the most famous museums in the world during the French Revolution. It seems that the American muralist Tristan Eaton, invited for Nuit Blanche, made that link between street art and revolution, but also between street art and the whole history of art  while in Paris: he decided to  paint  a huge Napoleon, paying tribute to David’s painting  located in… the Louvre museum! What did he write on the large wall he had to paint? “The revolution will be trivialized”…

Intervention by Swoon

Intervention by Swoon


Mural by L'Atlas

Mural by L’Atlas


Dan23 at la Halle Freyssinet

Street artists for Nuit Blanche 2014: Swoon, Mark Jenkins, Borondo, Brusk, Jef Aerosol, Yz, Tristan Eaton, Rouge, Jacques Villeglé, Spy, L’Atlas, Jan Vormann, Mademoiselle Maurice, Florian Marco, Dan 23.

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