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Toronto Canada 2012
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Young Prayer, 2012, Photography by Joe Le

William Robinson Halifax, Canada

Young Prayer 2011
Kinetic Sound Sculpture

54 - Metropolitan United Church
56 Queen Street East

[ selected photographs ]  [ video ]

An electronically automated pulley system repeatedly lifts, drops, and ultimately smashes an electric guitar. The guitar is plugged into three large Marshall electric guitar amps which create varying degrees of feedback.

Young Prayer stems from William Robinson‘s attraction to musical genres of rock "n" roll, grunge, punk, new wave, and hard core that have privileged guitar smashing as a form of self-expression and exhibitionism.

By recreating the physical act of smashing an electric guitar outside its original performance context, Robinson reveals the clichéd nature this action has assumed over its relatively brief history. At the same time he commemorates its lineage and celebrates its auditory effects.

Young Prayer riffs on the spiritual characteristics intrinsic to rock based musical genres that use the electric guitar as a tool of sacrifice, exultation, violence, sexual expression and transcendence. It creates a physical and metaphysical tension between the work, its audience and its church setting. This tension is generated by the piece‘s kinetic unpredictability and extreme auditory feedback that resonates inside and outside the space. Young Prayer reflects on the origins of rock culture in religious practices, as well as on the repurposed use of church buildings.

Artist Biography: William Robinson graduated from NSCAD University in 2004 and continues to live in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has exhibited internationally in New York, Bergen and Berlin. Robinson has received provincial project grants and completed artist-in-residence projects through Centre for Art Tapes and HRM's Open Project Initiative. His conceptually-based practice uses a variety of processes and media and is influenced by a broad selection of places, people and cultural phenomena. The impetus for his work often stems from encounters of an intimate or immediate nature.

Toronto Culture / Soctiabank