do it

October 27, 2018 - March 3, 2019


2018 do it uqam 008 2x1

What would happen if an exhibition never stopped? The constantly evolving do it answers that question, generating new versions of itself every time it is presented.

Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, do it began in Paris in 1993 as a conversation about how exhibition formats could be rendered more flexible and open-ended. The outcome of this discussion is a compendium of 400 written instructions by artists, interpreted anew every time they are enacted. Most venues choose up to 20 to present. Twenty-five years later, do it has been featured in at least 60 different locations worldwide, including Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Uruguay.

Each do it exhibition engages the local community in a dialogue that responds to and adds a new set of instructions. Nearly 400 artists from across the globe have contributed to the exhibition, including Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari, Louise Bourgeois, Theaster Gates, Damien Hirst, Shere Hite, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, Ed Ruscha, and Ai Weiwei.

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 that we "burn this book. ASAP," but John Armleder says to do "None of the above."

The origin and transformation of do it reflects the necessity of exploring collaboration and shared authorship in a constantly evolving art world. The project's impetus is rooted in the extraordinary effects of globalization on curating and artistic practice in the 1990s, a time that witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the geographies of contemporary art.

This open exhibition model has become the longest-running and most far-reaching exhibition to ever take place, giving new meaning to the concept of the "Exhibition in Progress." while offering infinite creative possibilities for participating audiences everywhere.

CURATOR
Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) is co-director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris. Since his first show World Soup (The Kitchen Show) in 1991 he has curated more than 250 shows.

do it is a traveling exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. ICI produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world. The exhibition and the accompanying publication, were made possible, in part, by grants from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and with the generous support from Project Perpetual and ICI's International Forum and Board of Trustees.

Sponsored by

Warner Norcross Judd Attorneys at Law

Installation view of do it at Galerie de l'UQAM in Montréal, 2016. Courtesy of Independent Curators International.

do it is a traveling exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. ICI produces exhibitions, events, publications, research and training opportunities for curators and diverse audiences around the world. The exhibition and the accompanying publication, were made possible, in part, by grants from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and with the generous support from Project Perpetual and ICI's International Forum and Board of Trustees.



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