As a part of Edmonton's first ever Nuit Blanche event, the Drawing Room Collective created a series of short films called Phantasmagoria for the all night art event. Originating in Paris and now taking place around the world, Nuit Blanche is an all night art party that transforms cities into giant art galleries from dusk 'til dawn.
Drawn by flashing lights, gaudy posters and the smell of popcorn, a line forms outside a storefront along a busy downtown street. A small group is ushered into a tight, dark space to watch a series of short films, only to be ushered out again after several minutes and replaced with another group of excited viewers. Coined in 1905, the term Nickelodeon combines the words “nickel,” the price of admission, with the ancient Greek word “odeion,” meaning a covered theatre. The small, storefront theatres were popular in the early 1900s until longer films and larger theatres became more common. Although maligned by some as cheap and tawdry, Nickelodeons were the egalitarian entertainment of their time, offering the working class an escape from their everyday lives.
In The Nickelodeon Project, a multimedia installation for Nuit Blanche 2015, we transformed the Drawing Room into a storefront cinema to screen a series of short videos created by members of The Drawing Room Collective. The exhibition features past and present members, Chelsea Boos, Sean Bliss, Cynthia Dovell, Devon Beggs, Robert Harpin, Olivia Chow, Tory Culen and Carly Greene.
We could not have made it happen without the Quarters Arts Society, Nuit Blanche Edmonton, Oliver Apt and all our volunteers. We'd like to thank Robyn Webb, Krystal Selbee, Sarah Hoyles, Vedran Skopac, Catalina Dia, and everyone who attended our opening night! You can come out and see the Nickelodeon Project between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday this October. For a taste of what you will see, here are a couple of the seven vids we are screening.