Walk Back to Your Body
A person sleeping in a string tent

What does it mean to be in conversation with your body? Many social, cultural, and political conventions we live by today discipline how we experience our bodies. They are often defined by their productivity, utility, fitness, and so on, but rarely through vulnerability and reflection. Through this series of collaborations between artists and researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School, we ask you to consider the ways in which your body features (or, perhaps, does not feature?) in your daily lives, disrupting the automatized ways in which we navigate the world.

Social practice artist Peng Wu’s Daydream Chapel is a product of collaboration with neurologist and sleep researcher Dr. Michael Howell. Peng’s installation is dedicated to that spiritual and sacred experience that lies at the heart of basic human need: rest. In an increasingly restless and disconcerting world, Daydream Chapel invites viewers to lie down alongside a stranger and stop, if only for a moment, to go “off the clock” and engage in equal, sincere, and intimate conversations.

Anna Marie Shogren’s interactive installation Work/Lifelong Choreographies is inspired by her experiences as a dance artist and a caregiver. In collaboration with Kristine Talley of the School of Nursing, Anna’s improvisational movement practice invites viewers to experience the physical conditions of older adults. Wearable garments such as the Neuropathy Gloves and the Shoulder Impingement Shirt animate conversations about the realities of age and loss of vitality by provoking playful, tactile fascination with movement.

Alison Hiltner’s work produces tactile, physical surfaces through which one can experience the heartbeat. Hiltner collaborates with biotechnology researcher Dr. Brenda Ogle, neurophysiologist Dr. Paul Laizzo, and programmer Brian Hadyen to create an interface that allows participants to “hold” one another’s heartbeat. Viewers are invited to talk to Alison during her ‘office hours’ in the Target Studio, where she invites everyone to participate in the evolution of this work. How would you want to feel someone’s heart?

Yuko Taniguchi and her collaborator, psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Cullen, explore the impact of creative practices on the wellbeing of adolescents facing pressing mental health challenges. Her resultant poem, Walk Back To Your Body, also synthesizes her own experiences of collaboration with those of the other artists in the Art and Health program. Yuko’s piece hones in on the nature of the relationship forged between the bodily and the cerebral, as does the work by Peng, Anna, and Alison. Walk Back To Your Body is therefore the guiding sentiment of this program—and the title of this exhibition—which calls to bring us back into our bodies from all the places that our minds take us to.

Join us on December 5th for a conversation with the artists and their collaborators, Dean of the Medical School Dr. Jakub Tolar, the Vice Dean for Research of the Medical School Dr. Tim Schacker, and curator Boris Oicherman. Walk in, walk out, walk around, walk back.


Interested in speaking to the artists or collaborators directly?

Peng Wu

Nap Meetings: Thursdays, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Instagram @pen9wu


Anna Marie Shogren

Performances: Wednesdays and Fridays, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

(exceptions: 9/25, 9/27, 10/16, 10/18, 11/29)

Instagram @seiramanna


Alison Hiltner

Office Hours: Tuesday, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. until 12/11

Some times may vary, please contact Alison at if you would like to confirm.


Yuko Taniguchi

Creative Completion of Rest:  9/29, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m, 10/20, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., 11/10, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.


Boris Oicherman

Office Hours: every other Wednesday, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Schedule an appointment here.


This project is generously supported by funds from the University of Minnesota Medical School.


Alison Hiltner

About the Artist

Alison Hiltner currently lives and works in Minneapolis, MN. She received a BFA from the University of Kansas and a MFA from the University of Minnesota. Hiltner’s credits include solo exhibitions at Spike Gallery in New York, the Museum of Surgical Sciences in Chicago and Heineman Myers Contemporary Art in Washington DC. In 2004 Alison was an artist in residence at Sculpture Space and received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in 2007 and 2011, MRAC/McKnight Foundation Next Step Grant and was named one of the 2011/12 Jerome Foundation Fellows. Hiltner has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions on the east coast and the Midwest including the Minnesota Biennial: 3D II at the Minnesota Museum of American Art and recently at the Evanston Art Center in Chicago.

Yuko Taniguchi

About the Artist

Yuko Taniguchi is a poet, novelist, and a creative collaborator who explores the intersection of healing and creative process with writers, artists, and healthcare professionals. She is currently developing practices that promote engagement, compassion, and inspiration for adolescent patients in the Acute Care Inpatient Psychiatric Unit for Children & Adolescents at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, MN. Taniguchi’s program at Mayo Clinic began by giving adolescents who struggle with mental issues the opportunity to participate in creativity-based activities and examining the responses.

Taniguchi is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Rochester and Mayo Clinic Humanities in Medicine.

Peng Wu

About the Artist

Peng Wu is an interdisciplinary artist and designer dedicated to creating socially engaged art in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, health disparity, queer rights, etc.