While Jared and Jones took off for a hike on Saturday morning, my friend, Blaque, and I decided to replace our planned coffee date with a trip to OZ Arts Nashville instead. Our friends, Ashley and Mary, had individual modular pods on exhibit, and we wanted to see each of their work in person (especially after watching the evolution of each pod on Snapchat for several weeks!).
Upon our arrival at OZ, we entered the artistic warehouse to find a long hallway that would lead us to the pod exhibit. Along one wall of this hallway was a commissioned project by Addam Yekutieli, an Israeli-American street artist. His project, Vicariously Speaking, consisted of several letters–letters Addam wrote to inmates in Nashville prisons plus the inmates’ letters back to him. In addition, Addam extracted one line from each letter to create a powerful message that currently permeates the entire city of Nashville by way of billboards (pictured above). I quickly realized I pass at least two of the aforementioned billboards each morning on my way to work.
By taking these phrases out of their original context and placing them in a new one, a newborn presence for the inmates takes place in public space and a dialogue within an interactive environment is created between two separate realities.
Seeing the modular pods, in conjunction with, Vicariously Speaking fed my unquenchable urge to better understand those around me this weekend. I want to better understand their minds, the stuff they create and dream of creating, and the way they best communicate to others. I want to better understand how they learn, how they feel appreciated, and how they feel loved. And, I want others to better understand those aspects of me, too.