A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful
A living catalogue of the ways in which we relate to the uncertainty of tomorrow.
This is the final weekend of an installation that invites us to explore our emotional relationship with the future. For the past year, tens of thousands of visitors to New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art have expressed their anxieties and hopes on a little card. These anonymous confessions, meditations and reflections hang on the collective wall in the museum’s lobby and reflect current preoccupations and desires.
A Monument for the Anxious and Hopeful is a collaboration between artist Candy Chang and writer James A. Reeves who took inspiration from Tibetan prayer flags and the anonymity of public spaces to create this participatory project. They told Tricycle magazine their intention was to encourage transparency and honesty about fears and desires in order that people feel part of a community and less alone. Reeves suggested these self-portraits might be a more truthful indication of our “collective mental weather” than what we project on social media.
By definition, anxiety and hope are determined by a moment that has yet to arrive—but how often do we pause to fully consider our relationship with the future? What apprehensions, expectations, and stories define our field of vision? And how do our private sensibilities square with the current collective mood?
During the exhibition Chang and Reeves spoke to psychologists, sociologists and researchers about emerging themes. Their findings will inform future projects and artistic collaborations that explore emotional wellbeing, urbanism and design. Can’t wait to see what comes next!
- What are you hopeful for?
- What are you anxious about?
- What would you confess on your card?
- What surprises you about the contributions to the wall? What delights you?
- How do you feel about uncertainty?
- How do your social media feeds align with your true “mental weather”?