Wester first performed the Art Experience Confession at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Italy with a team from Italia Innovation in July of 2016. The Art Confessional is a performative piece involving gallery goers and the inexperienced Contemporary Art viewer. A low-fi ‘confessional’ experience is worn by the ‘art therapist’ that remains anonymous while patrons of the work enter the semi-private speaking room and describe the art and their impressions to the voice in the box. The ramifications becoming clear and whole expressions of the viewer’s experience of contemporary artwork otherwise unacgessed or recorded for recognition, by themselves or for others.
This work seeks to give tangible data to the word about Contemporary Art’s impact on society by accessing thoughts that all but art professionals are too intimidated and insecure to express.
THE APPLICATIONS OF THE ART CONFESSIONAL GIVES PROMISE TO CONTEMPORARY ART’S FIGHT FOR SOCIAL IMPACT RECOGNITION:
With a wealth of new information on how people of many different backgrounds and interests are consuming works of art, new metrics on the impact, sharing, and discussion of issues in relation to art projects, presentations, and promotions can be constructed and tracked. Reliable social impact metrics for the arts would aide in garnishing funding for the arts, dispelling the stigma on arts and art museums that they are elitist or unattainable, and empower people to discuss arts and culture in a more meaningful manner. All of these benefits enrich the culture and engage the community in conversations that otherwise may be avoided.
Sharing of ideas and experiences is at the crux of an educated, innovative, and impactful society. Arts have long been a method of communication that can transcend language barriers and literary abilities. Therefore, if there is any media prime to take stage and reinvigorate social and cultural conversation, it is the arts.