Most of us wouldn't want our deepest secrets scribbled in a private journal, let along hung on a gallery wall. Yet that's exactly what was on the menu at Candy Chang's intimate exhibition "Confessions" last year. Inspired by sites like Post Secret as well as religious practices like confession and "wish" prayers, Chang turned an art gallery into a space for revealing secrets.
For the therapeutic exhibition, Chang invited hotel guests in Las Vegas to anonymously write down their confessions in a private booth. (In Sin City, we're guessing new confessions are likely being generated by the minute.) One reads, "I'm in love with my best friend... too bad he's married," while another confessor reveals, "The day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I stopped using cocaine."
The unsigned secrets were then hung around on gallery walls with a select few blown up onto large canvases. Through the project Chang shows how the personal and the public, when intertwined, can increase our happiness and sense of community. Think of it as a naughty version of Yoko Ono's "Wishing Tree."
Chang explained the project in a recent email to The Huffington Post:
"We're all trying to make sense of our lives and there's great comfort in knowing you're not alone. And you're not. Everyone you walk past is going through challenges in their life. Maybe it's their relationships or family or work or health. Maybe it's something they've been meaning to face for a long time. [I think of the quote] 'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.' But it's easy to forget this because we rarely venture beyond small talk with strangers."
"Confessions" was on display at P3 Studio in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas from July 20 until August 12, 2012.