Posted in Uncategorized by gvd on March 10, 2013

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of do it, Hans Ulrich Obrist has collaborated with Independent Curators International (ICI) on its newest iteration, do it: the compendium (ICI and DAP, May 2013). The new publication will present the history of this landmark project and give new potential to its future.

do it began in Paris in 1993 as a conversation between Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier who were curious see what would happen if they started an exhibition that would never need to stop and could constantly generate new versions of itself. To test the idea Obrist invited 12 artists to propose artworks based on written “scores” or instructions that can be openly interpreted every time they are presented. They were then translated into 9 different languages and circulated internationally as a book.

The origin and transformations of do it reflect the necessity of exploring how we collaborate and share authorship in a constantly evolving art world. The project’s impetus is rooted in the extraordinary effects of globalization on curating and art practice in the 1990s, a time that witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the geographies of contemporary art. 20 years later, do it has taken place in 59 venues worldwide and includes nearly 400 artists from across the globe, giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress, while offering infinite creative possibilities for participating audiences everywhere.

Adrian Piper asks audiences to hum a tune in order to enter a room. Ben Kinmont wants us to “invite a stranger into [our] home for breakfast.” Alexandre Singh teaches us how to turn wine into soda. Yoko Ono encourages us to keep wishing. And Mircea Cantor demands we “burn this book. ASAP,” but John Armleder says to do “None of the above.”

Along with a selection of instructions by 250 artists, 84 of which are newly published for the 20th anniversary, do it: the compendium will also include essays contextualizing do it; a new interview with Obrist; and documentation from past iterations, including exhibition images, texts, and interviews.

Obrist, Hans Ulrich, do it: the compendium, Independent Curators International (ICI), New York and Distributed Art Publishers, May 2013, 448 pages.

Foreword and acknowledgement by Kate Fowle and Frances Wu Giarratano; Introduction by Hans Ulrich Obrist; Essays by Bruce Altshuler, Hu Fang, Virginia Perez-Ratton, and Elizabeth Presa.



In 2013, do it will involve participatory events at multiple sites worldwide throughout May. Continuing the project’s evolution, an exhibition will stem from the publication, and new versions of do it will take place at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York with the very first do it (outside); and the most comprehensive show ever at the Manchester Art Gallery as part of the Manchester International Festival with rooms dedicated to the 20-year archive, do it (TV), and an homage to do it artists no longer living.


Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) lives and works in London, where he is co-director of exhibitions and programs and director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery. Before that, he was curator of Museum in Progress, Vienna, from 1993 to 2000 and has been a curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris since 2000. Obrist has curated and co-curated more than 200 solo and group exhibitions and biennials internationally since 1991, including World Soup (1991), Hotel Carlton Palace (1993), do it (1994), Take Me, I’m Yours (1995), Manifesta 1 (1996), Live/Life (1996), Cities on the Move (1997), Nuit Blanche (1998), 1st Berlin Biennial (1998), Laboratorium (1999), Utopia Station (2003), Dakar Biennale (2004), 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005), 1st & 2nd Moscow Biennale (2005 and 2007), Lyon Biennale (2007), and Yokohama Triennial (2008). In 2007, Hans Ulrich co-curated Il Tempo del Postinowith Philippe Parreno for the Manchester International Festival, also presented in Basel (2009), organized by Fondation Beyeler Art Basel and Theater Basel. In the same year, the Van Alen Institute awarded him the New York Prize Senior Fellowship for 2007–08. In 2008 he curated Everstill at the Lorca House in Granada. Obrist is contributing editor of Abitare MagazineArtforum, and Paradis Magazine.


Etel Adnan, Ai Weiwei, Sophia al Maria, Kathryn Andrews, Uri Aran, Cory Arcangel, Robert Ashley, Ed Atkins, Tarek Atoui, Lutz Bacher, Darren Bader, Nairy Baghramian, Yto Barrada, Robert Barry, Gianfranco, Baruchello, Jerome Bel, Gerry Bibby, Geta Bratescu, Waltercio Caldas, Boris Charmatz, Hélène Cixous, Claire Fontaine, Matias Faldbakken and Anders Nordby, William Forsythe, Simone Forti, Simon Fujiwara, Theaster Gates, Rodney Graham, Konstantin Grcic, Shilpa Gupta, Anna Halprin, Anthony Hill, Nicolas Hlobo, Kim Beom, Ragnar Kjartansson, Aaron Koblin, Suzanne Lacy, David Lamelas, Adriana Lara, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Xavier Le Roy, Klara Liden, Lucy Lippard, Thomas Lommee, Sarah Lucas, David Lynch, Tobias Madison, Helen Marten, Paul McCarthy, Tris Vonna Michell, Andrei Monasyrski, Rivane Neuenschwander, Albert Oehlen, Füsun Onur, Clifford Owens, Charlemagne Palestine, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Nicolás Paris, Amalia Pica, Adrian Piper, Raqs Media Collective, Casey E. B. Reas, Adrian Villar Rojas, Claude Rutault, Eszter Salamon, Dimitar Sasselov, Peter Saville, Gabriel Sierra, Kazuyo Sejima, Hassan Sharif, Jim Shaw, Alexandre Singh, Michael E. Smith, Mladen Stilinovic, Sturtevant, Ryan Trecartin, Agnes Varda, Franz Erhard Walther, Hannah Weinberger, Richard Wentworth.

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