James Webb: Prayer

  • Dates:November 30, 2019 - May 2, 2020 ( Recurring weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday )
  • Location:Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • City:Winnipeg
  • Times:From: 11:00 AM to 05:00 PM
  • Admission:Gallery Admission: $12.00; $10.00 for students and seniors; FREE for WAG Members
  • Address: 300 Memorial Blvd. Winnipeg, MB
  • Phone: (204) 786-6641
  • Email:Send Email
  • Website:Visit Website
  • Region: Winnipeg
  • Ticket Info: $12.00

Prayer is an ongoing project, remade around the world since its first presentation in Webb’s home city of Cape Town in 2000. The Chicago version was the tenth and largest to date, as well as the first version in North America. The work consists of recordings of prayer from individuals who belong to dozens of faiths and spiritual affinities in the host city. Listeners are invited to remove their shoes and walk the length of the carpet, composing their own arrangement of voices as they go, or to kneel or otherwise lower themselves next to a speaker to listen more closely to particular prayers. The spare though colourful installation has the austerity of a work of Minimal Art and the enveloping richness of a choral concert.

An experimental musician and visual artist with a degree in comparative religion, Webb initiated Prayer in Cape Town five years after his country ended its practice of apartheid. The word apartheid means segregation; Webb has created a work that emphatically brings people together. Prayers articulate a basic wish for communion and often serve to solidify a community of faith in a place of worship. By deliberately gathering prayers from a variety of neighbourhoods and spiritual practices and naming each of the participants and congregations, Webb aims to join together inhabitants of his host city.

The process for creating Prayer is collaborative and rooted in the place where it is installed. All participation by faith members is voluntary, and each community has received a copy of the recording for its own use.

This exhibition is made possible by the Artworkers Retirement Society. In-kind support has been provided by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Image credit: James Webb. Prayer (Chicago), 2018. Multi-channel sound installation, Variable. Rennie Collection, Vancouver and the Art Institute of Chicago, Photography Purchase Fund; promised gift of Rennie Foundation. 2018.394.

Show Map
James Webb: Prayer
  • (204) 786-6641
  • 300 Memorial Blvd.
  • Winnipeg, MB