Represented by: MKG127, Toronto, Canada
Artist’s Page: John Marriott at MKG127


John Marriott is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based in Toronto, Canada. His performances, interventions, videos, installations, sculptures and images have been featured in exhibitions and festivals nationally and internationally in venues such as The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (Toronto 1995, 1996), The Impakt Festival (Utrecht, 2003), 25HRS (Barcelona, 2003), The Rotterdam International Festival of Film and Video (Rotterdam, 2003), The 7a*lld International Festival of Performance Art (Toronto, 2004), The ZKM (Karlsruhe, 2004), The Toronto Sculpture Garden (Toronto, 2006), Optica – un centre d’art contemporain (Montréal, 2011) and The Blackwood Gallery (Mississauga, 2011, 2013).

Artist’s Statement:

In my artistic practice I critically examine and respond to contemporary experience with projects in exhibition spaces as well as interventions in public and private sites, situations and publications. I work in a variety of media and draw upon a range of disciplines and research methods to inform my practice, which is concerned as much with collective imagination and societal values as it is with mediated manifestations of culture. My intention is to design works that are critical, rigorous, playful and that offer layered readings and experiences.

With my projects I investigate how people seek out and impose meaning in their lives, be it on the grand scale of culture or in the routines of daily life. Since a great deal of cultural information is filtered through media that shapes our perceptions and expectations I respond by intervening in ‘the appearance of meaning’ as it is produced in mass culture. Often my approach involves taking something familiar and making it unfamiliar by purposefully redirecting aspects of that familiarity and the sense of recognition that it prompts in us. In this way my projects probe, inhabit and repurpose recognizable iconography, objects, contexts and services in order to connect with and delve into how they manifest or frustrate significance for us.

I am interested in creating art that acknowledges viewers and involves them as active participants. The works succeed for me when they challenge habits of perception and foster possibilities for new understanding. My hope is that as viewers engage with these artworks they can experience structured uncertainty and unexpected connections, and through creative challenges to recognition they experience re-cognition.


The artist wishes to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.

Arts Council Acknowledgement

Selected Bibliography:


  • Vaughan, RM. Pink towers, axe sculptures: the hot shows.The Globe and Mail, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011. R13.
  • Moeder, Claire, John Marriott : empreinte d’emprunts. Ratsdeville, Apr. 08, 2011.
  • Staff, Like Dada Like Son, Madame Pickwick Art Blog, March 18, 2011
  • Vaughan, RM. Avant-Garde! There’s a Dadaist in the House. The Globe and Mail, Saturday, March 05, 2011. R23.


  • Morrell, Amish. NOTEWORTHY. C Magazine, Winter. 55. 2009


  • Rogerson, Stephanie. Assemble Required. NOW Magazine, July 27, 2006. 90.
  • Grande, John. K. John Marriott: Easy to Assemble. Vie des Arts, No. 203, 2006. 85.
  • Johnson, Christopher. John Marriott. Canadian Art. Sept. 2006. 148.


  • Dault, Gary Michael. A Fresh Whiff of Perpetual Possibility. The Globe and Mail, Saturday, June 28, 2003. R11.
  • Gill, Alexandra. Nudge, nudge, I’m an art object. The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, April 22. R3.


  • Koh, Germaine. Give Aways – A Partial Account. Mix Magazine, Fall. 55.
  • Garneau, David. A Better Place: Practical Utopias. Vie des arts, No. 182. 78.


  • Hanna, Deirdre. The art of noise. Now Magazine, May 25. 69.
  • Dault, Gary Michael. The re-enchantment of the everyday. The Globe and Mail, Feb. 19. R12.


  • Dault, Gary Michael. Marriott’s snarl becomes a grin. The Globe and Mail, June 26. C11.



  • Mark, Lisa Gabrielle. Notes from Ontario. C Magazine, Nov. 42.
  • Staff. Art takes to the streets. The Globe and Mail, August 23. R11.
  • Hanna, Deirdre. Hip Art That Says Hello Takes To T.O.’s Streets. NOW Magazine, August 2. 70.


  • Mackay, Sally. Beauty #2. Flash Art International, Dec. 59.
  • Hume, Christopher. Finding meaning in the muck of modernism. The Toronto Star, July 13. G7.