Paris 08 wakeful night : my report

It was a bit chilly Saturday night, but nothing compared to the rain and wind on Friday, so there was a crowd of people pacing around Paris for this seventh Nuit Blanche.  Paris railway stations were the main theater of event.

Before 10 PM a thick crowd had already gathered around Gare de Lyon

to watch the shooting of a Bollywood clip directed by Indian director Shaad Ali :

People waited patiently, some wondering at how long it takes to register a few seconds shot, and whispered “hush” as soon as play-back started. Lovely.

A shining ancient car was parked in front of Gare de Bercy

It’s not an installation, it’s an advertisement :

But on the outside parking lot, a red coupé was the centre of attraction :

Sitting in front, a male and a female figures with white heads.

The couple was having small talk : “He” asks “her” “-Do you think you can drive?” and argued on some philosophical or artistic issues. Only their lips and very reallistic eyes moved.

It was “Autoportrait” by Magdalena Kunz and Daniel Glaser, two artists living in Switzerland, in Zurich, where their creatures’car came from.

Outside Gare Saint-Lazare, you could watch and listen to the Sound of the Microclimates by the English duo SemiconductorRuth Jarman and Joe Gehrardt –

Inside the station -which is being renovated – sound and pictures all over the place

getting more and more abstract

Later on, the Marais area was heavily crowded, but everyone could see night and day coexisting on the freshly renovated Tour Saint-Jacques. This is the work of Chinese Gu Dexin

and it was different on every angle :

You had to wait long to enter Musee Carnavalet and live the quick but unusual experience of walking through a wall inyo a foggy dark unknown :

It was Going Through Walls by Gints Gabrans.

Paris Jazz Club paid a tribute to Stephane Grapelli on rue des Lombards at Baiser Salé and Duc des Lombards, but seeing a huge line in front of each, we went away.

In the Archives Nationales people could listen to a classic jam performed by young musicians from National Paris and Lyon Conservatoires.

It was an opportunity to walk around the beautiful courtyard of Hotel Soubise. Concerts took place inside and outside too.

You could sit in Eglise Saint-Paul to attend to Station to Station by Jeremy Blake

Five digital animations about traveling from one station to another

We were deeply disappointed arriving at midnight thirty at Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme where the installation Gute Nacht by Christian Boltanski, Franck Krawczyk and Jean Kalman took place, and finding the door closed. It had ended at midnight. And we were even more disappointed when we were told how great it had been.

But something comforted us : entering  Hotel d’Albret on rue des Francs-Bourgeois, we could be part of a great internet performance. Initiated by French director  Véronique Aubouy, offers all internet people to read one of the 3424 pages of French writer Marcel Proust‘s huge masterpiece, A la Recherche du Temps Perdu.

Recordings are going on since Saturday September 27 in Théâtre Paris-Vilette 211 avenue Jean Jaures 75019 Paris, up to October 12. You can record yourself  with your  webcam up to October 26. Pages are selected at random and then edited in order : 170 hours of reading.

I was very happy to end this new Nuit Blanche by reading one page of A l’ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs.

If you wish to be part of this, you can get more information on

Register or select a recorded page on


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