Almost everyone has hopes, insecurities, anxieties, or regrets that we keep a secret. Candy Chang, an artist, created an opportunity to anonymously confess these secrets without the fear of being judged. In the heart of Las Vegas, Chang asked people to write confessions on wooden plaques in the privacy of a booth. The plaques would be placed on the walls of the exhibition for everyone to see. Chang originally gained fame through her public art project “Before I die”
“Confessions” was inspired by Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree, a similar project where participants write down a wish on a small tag and place it on a tree to be later buried. Confessions explored the vulnerability of humans and how we find comfort in seeing other people struggling knowing that we aren’t alone.
Over 1500 confessions were written down: I just want to be loved like everybody else, I wish I had a better relationship with my family, I’m scared of failing, I’m afraid I’ll never fall in love, I have no idea where life is taking me, I don’t want to get old. All confessions are posted online.
This became a cathartic activity, releasing a weight off of participant’s shoulders. Chang told 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.”
In reality, struggling is a part of life, something everyone goes through. A lot of the confessions are something many people have felt or experienced at one point in time or another. Knowing we’re not the only ones feeling or experiencing something is comforting– that what we’re feeling isn’t out of the ordinary or abnormal.
The most powerful works of art are the ones that make you feel something. Chang created an art project that intertwined with social activism. Through Confessions, participants felt relief while spectators felt empathy.