photo: Brian Bettencourt
John Notten - Toronto, Canada
43 - 21 Jordan Street
[ photographs ] [ video ]
Shrine is the destination of an unexpected nocturnal pilgrimage. The most humble of objects, the common
garbage bin, rises up in monumental stacks to form a sacred space: that of a Gothic Cathedral. The worlds
of debris, recycling and overabundant products collide with the elegantly vaulted ceilings and stained
glass windows of the cathedral as viewers are lured into an alternative experience of church. Each garbage
bin forms a building block that parallels the proportions of a traditional cathedral in an ironic way.
In so doing, this lowly receptacle for the products of humanity’s excess is elevated to a level
of architectural grandeur. The insatiable appetite for and the mass consumption of meaningless objects,
first treasured and then discarded, forms the basis for a dialogue about our need to worship. This shrine
is symbolically unclean and yet seductively beautiful, offering an immersive experience that challenges
notions of faith and the idols we revere.
John Notten is a Toronto artist and educator. He creates participatory installations that immerse
the viewer in alternative environments through the re-crafting and repurposing of multiple, prefabricated
objects. This is his 4th installation for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche since 2010.