I didn’t have much of a preconceived notion of what Origins 1 was going to be like before I checked it out. My mind was a vacant space unexpectedly stirred by the sensory pieces on display. The room was very clean. There were wooden floors and ambient lighting, which I felt to be a humble platform to showcase the artwork.
My attention was immediately captured by the video projected onto a foil-covered wall, and a doll that hung from the ceiling that looked both demented and free. My friend and I had a conversation about the piece.
We first discussed how silly it was to interpret art because the meaning of art is the art itself.
We then ironically proceeded to interpret the artist’s intention for the demented doll piece. Our trail of theories led us to the conclusion that the doll was a statement against the patriarchy because of its pink armpit hair that flowed unapologetically.
I proceeded to view the other pieces which included original paintings, drawings, and photographs displayed on the walls. I was pulled naturally into the center of the room by an energetic piece propped up on a handmade podium in the center of the room. It was a manuscript that mocked symmetry and linear formatting with an intuitive gesture of formalized text. I sifted through the many pages reading its massive content bits at a time. I imagined that if I were to pay the piece the homage it deserved, sifting through the manuscript in the warm eclectic room I felt an intensely relaxing sensation similar to smoking a joint in warm water or sitting crossed legged on the ocean’s floor.
Calmly I proceeded forth to the “The Paradox of Visible Isolation,” which was a small enclosed room that included a letter from my friend the artist. The letter was meant to illicit an interactive sensory experience within the enclosed space. He stated how the very chair I was sitting in was made by a friend, engaging me both physically and emotionally. There were photographs and doodles adorning each of the four walls that included little anecdotes of how the photos were taken and how they symbolically fit into the series. There were also haphazardly cut-outs of friends pieced together in a collage, whom were said to have all played a distinct role in shaping the artist’s life in Athens. I found an image of myself nestled amidst that 2D collage of smiley faces and realized that my Athens network largely overlaps with his Athens network.
I had an epiphany that perhaps, all of Athens counter-culture folk are living a shared experience, in which our minds are threaded together by kind of shared consciousness.
These closed corners of visible isolation illustrated just how collaborative the Origins 1 project was. I remember when I left, my mood was tinged with a sense of sadness. It made me feel connected to people via their artistic projections, rather than their physical selves. It made me realize how truly eternal our creativity is.
Origins 1 made me come to a realization that we cannot possibly be reduced to our physical presence. We are all instead intrinsically valuable sentient beings. Existence is rewarding when one is able to live on through creative expression, or to derive meaning from pieces others create. And when pieces are joined together, they represent something just as important as self-actualization; connectedness.