Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Romancing the Anthropocene curated by Ivan Jurakic and Crystal Mowry

Shrine, 2013

Suitable for all ages

Shrine, 2013

John Notten - Toronto, Canada


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.


21 Jordan Street

This project is outdoors.