Translating a religious rite into a secular ritual for catharsis, consolation, and intimacy.

Confessions is a participatory installation that explores public rituals for catharsis, consolation, and intimacy. Inspired by Japanese Shinto shrine prayer walls, Post Secret, and Catholicism, Candy Chang invited people to write and submit a confession on a wooden plaque in the privacy of confession booths in The Cosmopolitan’s P3 Studio gallery in the heart of the Las Vegas strip. She arranged the anonymous plaques on the gallery walls, painted select responses on 4’ x 4’ canvases, and orchestrated the space with an original ambient score by Oliver Blank. By the end of the exhibit, over 1,500 confessions were displayed in the room.

The confessions ranged from the light-hearted to the heart-breaking: I eat too much cheese, I’m scared I’ll die alone, I still love her two girlfriends and five years later, I sold heroin to my friend and it ruined his life, Came here married to one girl and left married to two girls, I stole over 15,000 from the company I work for, I like porn more than my husband does, I’m not as confident as the world thinks I am, I’m in the military and I’m scared to die, I don’t know what I am doing and I’m running out of time. The introspective project reappropriates religious rites for secular environments and examines how public spaces can cultivate self-realization and communal kinship.

Candy Chang

Las Vegas, Nevada

1000 sq ft gallery space
Aluminum, acrylic on canvas, string, fabric, ink

Organized by Art Production Fund and the Cosmopolitan. Installation assistance by Abraham King, Kristina Kassem, Wendalyn Lewis, Caroline Oh. / 2016, Minsk, Belarus. A collaboration with Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art and So Beautiful and Wild Agency. Curated by Oksana Zhgirovskaya, Valentina Kiseleva, Ekaterina Lipnitskaya, and Anna Chistoserdova. / 2016, Athens, Greece. A collaboration with Onassis Cultural Centre. Curated by Afroditi Panagiotakou and Konstantina Soulioti. / 2017, London, England. A collaboration with Merge Festival and Hilton Bankside Hotel.

The installation has also been featured in other cities, including Minsk, Belarus at Ў Gallery of Contemporary Art in 2016 where more than 2,000 people participated. The installation was featured in various public spaces in Athens, Greece in collaboration with the Onassis Cultural Centre in 2016. The installation was created in London, England in 2017 in collaboration with Merge Festival and Hilton Bankside Hotel, where select responses were also stenciled on the streets nearby. The installation was also created in Yerevan, Armenia in 2017 with support from Karoyan Gallery and Moscow Cinema and curated by Lilit Antonyan.

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