Displays of mourning and the contemplation of death were once critical components of public life, yet much of modern society has swept these elements from view. Today fewer people belong to a particular faith and many of us are left to confront death alone without the rituals and reassurances of community. How can our public spaces better address our relationship with grief, which is the most universal yet also most isolating of emotions?
Grief Is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed is a public art project that offers a meditation on loss and invites people to share the rituals, practices, and texts that have provided solace. Inspired by the myth of the Minotaur, which originated in Crete, the first installation was created in Heraklion, Greece in January 2017. A presentation of the mural included a discussion on grief and rituals with the community. We also invite you to read people’s responses and share your own experiences on the project site. This work is part of an ongoing collaboration between Candy Chang and James A. Reeves.
The collage for Grief Is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed is built from pieces of several Renaissance and Baroque paintings, including The Entombment of Christ by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1656); Salome with the Head of John the Baptist by Caravaggio (1609); and Michelangelo’s Pietà (1499).
2017, Heraklion, Greece. The mural is located at Giannikou 37 near Kafeneion O Lakkos. Acrylic, paper. 5.5 m wide x 3 m tall (18 ft wide x 10 ft tall). Greek translation by Antonis Tsirikoudis. With support from the Lakkos Artist Residency.