The End

Issue ONE \ Origins


As a sign-off, we couldn't help but come all the way back to the beginning.

Storytelling, in all its many forms, holds a unique ability to not only inform us of a world outside our own, but on those rare moments it can inspire a sensory reaction so deep it weaves its way into our own personal and collective stories. This was what IRIS and Issue ONE \ Origins celebrates throughout every page.

Early on, when IRIS was becoming more than a twinkle in our eye, we came across a crumpled photocopy of a single page of text, taken from a forgotten book, many years before. Somehow this piece of paper survived the years of moving, in a box of favourite things, without being seen again until it surreptitiously fell out of an overfilled cupboard, at the very beginning of the IRIS adventure.  Reading the once loved and forgotten text echoed and solidified the reasons IRIS was coming into being.  This piece of writing by Norberto Chaves, translated from his native Spanish, so beautifully articulates the very reason sharing Art, Beauty, Culture and Philosophy through story, means something intrinsic to human nature, his words explain our very sentiments with so much more poetry than we ever could...

We leave you with 'The Real and the Absent', by Norberto Chaves.




The attraction of the real.  Allusion to it.  A peek in at its abyss out of an obsession to describe.  To grasp what is indescribable.  To apprehend what is ephemeral in what is permanent.  A sparkle of unknown origin which will not recur.

Describing as discovering.  The perfect, complete discovery of something unknown.
To turn to the obvious so as to hit on the unwanted.  To experience the astonishment of witnessing a world we can't quite understand.
Small events, minute episodes of matter.  Imperceptible  events, captured for consciousness.

A dense anecdote, full of meaning and enigmas.  Those minuscule stories latent behind the creases in a canvas.  Microcosm.
To approach the real so as to escape to other worlds.  Towards what is important, towards what is in  reality,though absent.  Fleeting.  Elusive.
Nostalgia.  A melancholic version of time, deterioration being its measure and evidence.  Decline.

As for life, there are only traces.  Trails of human progress.  Tokens of deeds or auguries of what is yet to come. No agonists for this drama.
No action or passion but in things.  In their apparent irrelevance.  Those minimal, observed tragedies.
To educate one's gaze.  Direct it.  Exercise it in order to see the world and find something different in it. Or perhaps to find the world itself, its neglected, forgotten forms.

The worldly way of aesthetics.  A guide to the hidden paths of beauty.
Art as a means to a superior art.  A didactic art.  Learn to see in order to see further, keep seeing, live through the act of seeing.
Unexpected aesthetics.  Small anonymous harmonies.  True abstraction: unnamed forms.
Laws of being, yet not of saying.  At the very heart if mere trifles.  A democracy of sins.  Respect things.  Let them be.

A serene, mature art.  Not enticed by originality or transgression; vain, trite impulses.  Not looking forwards, but inwards.
A humble, sincere art.  Based on the unexpectedness of discovery, rather than invention.
Desire for reality.  Earthly nourishment.  The substance of things.  Sensuality imbued with a shameless search for pleasure.  A frank, forthright, unaffected search.

The art, or pleasure, of being in the world.  The work of art as a mere excuse for an experience.  Stimulus and construction in a subject.
And finally, forget the real.  Search for the signs of what is not there, of what exists only in our amnesia; depict the ghosts of our fantasies.
And remain, waiting for the Other.  He who arrives and finds his kindred there, hovering over those gray shadows.

The work of art; that unveiling of other peoples dreams. Aesthetic communication:  embracing our own ghosts with those of the Other.


A fantastic love.  Two gazes meeting in the same mirror.




Norberto Chaves, on the work of Ferran Frexia.
Barcelona, September 1994

Translated by Ovidio Carbonell.


We would like to thank the Traditional owners, the culture, people and landscape that has shaped and inspired this issue.