The Rule of Law is a Reflection of Us All / La primauté du droit est un reflet de nous tous, 2017

Unveiling of this monument was at the McMurtry Gardens of Justice in Toronto, ON, Canada on October 24th, 2017. The sculpture by John Greer was fabricated in Italy by Mauro Marmi Inc. and realized by Intercontinental Sculpture Inc. with Vanessa Paschakarnis as project manager. It was installed by Finbarr's Masonry Inc.

All images below are by James Brittain Photography.

The ideas behind this monument are about a culture being an accepted shared idea of what constitutes reality. Within this construct is a collective code of moral conduct written into law. These encoded laws represent each and every one of us within our culture. Laws are not an imposition on us, but they are a reflection of who we are. To see ourselves as others see us is both, empowering and humbling.


Standing centrally before the monument you see your image reflected in such a way, as to see yourself as others see you. In a way it is like seeing yourself outside of yourself and in the public space. The sliver of light between the law books represents possible change. Like the line in Leonhard Cohen’s song: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.“ The sign of hope.


The scale of the monument is both, monumental and yet human scale. I am using two types of stone. Granite being from the magma, the crust of the earth on which our lives unfold, is used for the book covers. The interior of the books are marble, which is composed mostly of calcium coming from a once living material. Both types of stone are millions of years old, coming into this form to reflect on in the present moment. The details of this monument are very important to me, such as, if one feels the underside of the book projecting beyond the base book, the cuts representing the pages can be felt.

The finish on the outside covers is like leather. How one interacts physically with this monument has been carefully considered. My hope is that after one interacts with the sculpture, the haptic experience will remain and encourage a deeper understanding of the importance of the law.


John Greer

East LaHave, NS, Canada

October 6th, 2017


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Bus Shelter in Halifax with retroActive poster!
Thinking Back to Gertrude and Henrie, 2015
Installation View retroActive with Threshold, 2015; Civilization, 1990/91; PaperMoney, 2012
Wait of Water by John Greer, 2014 Bay of Fundy Detail of Wait of Water, October 9th, 2014; retroActive tied up, tide down, looking back across the bay where the piece was first realized in 1972
National Gallery of Canada : THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE
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