Dante Carlos & RO/LU
______ TELLS US WE'RE NOTHING.
____ TELLS US WE'RE EVERYTHING.
FLOWS IN BETWEEN
March 28th, 2015 — April 26th, 2015
It seemed really easy to talk to you about the connections between spirituality and art. Sometimes it makes me uneasy to talk about this because spirituality has a lot of baggage as a term? Because it’s easily conflated with religion but, it doesn’t really have anything to do with that for me. There’s not a lot of separation between meditation and the work we do. They are different but, it’s nice to explore.
The blurrier those distinctions are, the more interesting it becomes, but that’s the Gemini in me talking. But maybe we’re both comfortable and interested in talking about it because the projects we take on bleed into each other and the way we make work absorbs all the influence around us. Why should there be a distinction between something that is productive and something that is meditative or spiritual; or distinct from the rest of the universe rather than framing a part of it?
Discovering this strange folder of photographs, letters and ideas about contemplation environments from the 60’s seemed to almost give us permission or something… it pointed the way. There’s obviously a really rich history of exploration around meditation, meditative acts and the spaces we use for that as well as the objects involved in those spaces. It seems important right now, again, to look at these things in terms of art/arch/design.
My sister and I grew up between Buddhist temples and Catholic churches, and while we’re not religious, I did recognize early on the kind of energy this context gave off, how individuals expressed their spirituality through these physical forms like architecture and objects. Working at an art center, you’d sometimes find yourself in front of a work you’re really into and just kind of stop, sit, and wonder, and lose yourself for a moment, for whatever reason. The idea that similar vibes can come from two different environments makes you wonder if there’s something to be revealed about how deep our relationship is to the things we make. It might be a hidden sense.
Semi-guided experience, potential, language, learning/teaching and energy seem to be the basis for all our interests as a studio. Situations just keep emerging that show us different ways to explore and stay in motion with these things. Your Grandmother’s passing, the learning involved as an observer… it’s all been very rich and now, when I think about the bricks, the book, the ideas, the conversations… it doesn’t seem like it could’ve been any other way?
It’s been great that we’ve approached this with knowledge but without pretense, irony, or cynicism, and maybe that’s what motivates us ultimately. At the end of the day, the universe throws you things that you have to pick up and figure out how you relate to it, and I think that’s how we’ve been able to gauge our own thoughts and ideas throughout this project. Whether it’s a death in the family, or a sunny day on a hidden beach, or even a simple clay brick, its the universe’s way of saying “I’m still here, you keep listening.”
The opening reception for ______ TELLS US WE’RE NOTHING. ____ TELLS US WE’RE EVERYTHING.
FLOWS IN BETWEEN
will be held on Saturday, March 28th from 6 - 8pm.
About the Artists
RO/LU is a studio based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul that works on art and design related projects. Founded in 2003 as a landscape office by Matt Olson and Mike Brady, an “open practice” was adopted in 2005, and though they still actively work with landscape architecture, their production has evolved over the years to include sculptural furniture, performance, clothing, writing, video and more. Frequently collaborating across disciplines, many of their activities fall in between specific categories. RO/LU began releasing conceptually driven furniture pieces in 2010 through Mondo Cane Gallery in New York and Volume Gallery in Chicago and over the last four years have shown their work internationally. They were the 2012 Open Field Artists in Residence at the Walker Art Center and Matt Olson completed a month long Robert Rauschenberg Residency in 2013. They were featured in the recently published PIN-UP Interviews book and have been covered in the New York Times, The WSJ Magazine, Wallpaper, and Surface, among others.
Dante Carlos is a graphic designer currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to being a Senior Designer at the Walker Art Center, Dante maintains his own practice—designing books and printed matter for artists and cultural institutions. Enthusiastic about knowledge, his self-initiated projects serve as an excuse to research seemingly random subjects, many of which inform his process. He is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.