White water, sweat and strange animals: Saturday evening, the first Parisian Nuit Blanche on sunny days will give pride of place to sport and to the Seine, the scene of the opening ceremony of the 2024 Olympic Games.
A red ball appears in the middle of the water, facing the eastern tip of Île Saint-Louis, like a second sunset that will last all night. A symbol of the great leap made by Nuit Blanche, which since 2002 has been bringing contemporary art to the streets, museums and other institutions of Paris, for one night. So far, that of the first Saturday in October.
During the 2021 edition marked by a storm, Mayor Anne Hidalgo launched an online vote to decide on a change of season. No more dead leaves and hello late twilight, Nuit Blanche will now take place on the first weekend of June.
In anticipation of the Olympic Games, the program - 200 works and performances distributed between Paris, its metropolis and their Sequanaise partners, Rouen and Le Havre - will be largely labeled Cultural Olympiad to create a dialogue between art and sport.
Hence this giant and crazy ping-pong tournament, in a Far West atmosphere, Quai d'Austerlitz, where the finalists will have to keep the clock on a mechanical rodeo. Or this burlesque Mexican wrestling on the Place du Châtelet. Or an exhibition on athletes combining photography, video and dance in the Temple district. A large part of the key works will be visible along the Seine: a huge golden plastic ring, a monumental octopus, a unicorn...
Downstream, in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis), the river will serve as a projection support for a starry sky recreated by drones, and upstream, in Alfortville (Val-de-Marne), as a theater for an adaptation Pied Piper of Hamelin.