Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Zone C Exhibition Project

Young Prayer, 2011
Photo: Tara Raftovich

Suitable for all ages

In memory of Kenny Doren. Many thanks to Adam Kelly, Wes Johnston, CFAT, Stefan Hancherow, Tom Robinson, Ellen Robinson, Jeff Bierk, Marley Parker, Nocturne: Art at Night.

Young Prayer, 2011

William Robinson - Halifax, Canada

Kinetic Sound Sculpture

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.

William Robinson graduated from NSCAD in 2004; he has exhibited nationally and internationally in Berlin, Bergen and New York. Currently living and working is Halifax NS he has recently completed artist-in-residence projects through CFAT and HRM’s Open Project Initiative. His practice is interdisciplinary and conceptually-based.


Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East

This project is indoors.