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Before I Die responses, New Orleans. Photo: Candy Chang.

Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture: Candy Chang

October 9, 2017
6p Reception, 6:30p Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Artist Candy Chang will deliver the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Visiting Artist Lecture, titled Transforming Our Communities and Ourselves Through Art and Design.

Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Chang creates work that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche, the threshold between isolation and community, and the role of the commons in contemporary well-being. She is interested in the relationship between public space and mental health, the tension between individual liberty and social cohesion, and a city that exposes and fosters the complexity of the individual and collective psyche.

With a background in urban planning, Chang worked with communities in Nairobi, New York, Helsinki, New Orleans, Vancouver, and Johannesburg, where she experienced universal challenges of local democracy. She created public experiments to pursue more inclusive forms of dialogue. She co-founded Neighborland, a civic tool that has been used by hundreds of city governments, nonprofits, and cultural institutions to collaborate with residents on the future of their communities. After struggling with grief and depression, she channeled her emotional questions into her work. Her participatory public art project Before I Die reimagines our relationship with death and with one another in the public realm, and has been created in over 3,000 cities and over 70 countries, including China, Iraq, Argentina, Russia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. Her Confessions installation expands public rituals for catharsis, consolation, and intimacy and has been installed in cities including Athens, Minsk, and London. Her recent work, The Atlas of Tomorrow, draws upon Carl Jung and the I Ching to transform a building into a device for philosophical reflection. Her latest work, Grief is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed, uses the mythology of the Minotaur to examine our relationship with grief.

Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, New Museum, Tate Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, TED Senior Fellowship, Tulane University Urban Innovation Fellowship, University of Michigan Bicentennial Alumni Award, and Tony Goldman Visionary Artist Award. She was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design by Impact Design Hub, a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She has been the keynote speaker at events including the Creativity World Forum, American Planning Association National Conference, Google Women of gTech, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Conference, and the Global Health Summit.

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