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
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
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.