While RO/LU partner Matt Olson was living on the island of Captiva completing a Robert Rauschenberg Residency, he was commissioned by the Assoc of Museum Directors to develop a workshop to kick off their weekend symposium “Propositions for the Future of the Art Museum” at the Aspen Institute.
It was a very intimidating guest list as the museums represented were the Walker Art Center, LACMA, MoMA and many others. The workshop was set up like a 12 Step Meeting, all the participants sat in a circle and each read aloud from a page in the guide written in Matt’s voice. The book was designed by Dante Carlos. There was also an accompanying video element that directed them through various activities and actions.
The point of the workshop was to propose focusing on love. Seriously. That was what Matt told them to do in the future. Take a daily inventory of all the love that happened in their institution that day. He tells a story about how he almost chickened out… that he felt like it was too light a premise to propose.
When he told his friend Laura Brunelliere that he wasn’t going to tell them to love more, that he was too afraid they wouldn’t take him seriously, she said in her French accent, “Proust had a very big mind, no?” Matt said “Of course.” She then said, “He was not like you though, apparently afraid to say I believe in art and I believe in love.” Trust mixed with courage seemed appropriate and he stayed the course.