Through her art, Chrysanne Stathacos explores the connections between ritual actions, technology, feminism, spirituality and the environment. Her studio practice is located in Toronto, Athens, and the Himalayas.
She investigates change, hope, and healing, demonstrating a commitment to social art practice. Her intention is to examine and bring to light the interconnectedness of all human beings. She has presented more than forty public art projects, installations and exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and South and North America at museums, galleries, and public spaces.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Stathacos’ seminal interactive public art project, The Wish Machine
. First presented at Grand Central Station in New York City, it has since traveled around the world in various forms with more than 80,000 people participating.
Chrysanne Stathacos conceived The Wish Machine
after visiting a wishing tree at Chhattarpur Mandir, Delhi, India in 1995. The wishing Tree
was covered with hundreds of cloths, in every color imaginable, each tied there by an individual making a wish: for a happy marriage, for a child, for prosperity, for health. The tree radiated hope. At the time Stathacos was suffering from the loss of many friends to AIDS, and she experienced a healing there. She wanted to share this experience with other people. In 1997 Creative Time commissioned The Wish Machine
for Grand Central Station, timed to coincide with Day With(out) Art
, or International AIDS Day. Stathacos expanded the project by launching an interactive web site that collected wishes: over a thousand anonymous wishes were collected over a period of two years from around the world. The collected wishes were compiled in the publication, 1000+ Wishes, released in 1994 to coincide with an exhibition at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
An award in 2001 from the Japan Foundation enabled Stathacos to do creative research in India and Japan, with the idea of expanding the project further. This experience resulted in various new works, including a photographic series of wishing trees and gardens, the interactive public art project, Refuge, a Wish Garden
; and several Rose Mirror Mandala
In December 2008, The Wish Machine
was presented at 48˚ C Public Art Ecology, the first public art festival in New Delhi. The Wish Machine
was featured in The Latent City, a 56-minute documentary (2009), directed by Krishnendu Bose. The film, in capturing India’s first public art ecology project, examined the teetering ecology of the city through the prism of contemporary art.
Chrysanne Stathacos has received awards from Art Matters, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, The Japan Foundation, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, and the Puffin Foundation. She has been on the boards of Art Metropole, Toronto; The Gap ( Grange Arts and Performance), Toronto and the Lower East Side Printshop, New York City.
More information on Chrysanne Stathacos and her work can be seen at www.chrysanne.ca
Her resume is available here
in pdf format.