Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
do it began in Paris in 1993 as a conversation between curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. They were curious to see what would happen if they started an exhibition that could constantly generate new versions of itself. To test the idea, they invited 12 artists to propose artworks based on written “scores” or instructions that can be openly interpreted every time they are presented. The instructions were then translated into 9 different languages and circulated internationally as a book.
Since then, hundreds of artists have been invited to submit instructions, and do it has taken place all over the world from Austria to Australia, from Thailand to Uruguay, from Canada to Iceland giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress. Each do it exhibition is uniquely site-specific because it engages the local community in a dialogue that responds to a set of instructions. As a result do it is less concerned with copies, images, or reproductions of artworks, than with human interpretation. No two iterations of the same instructions are ever identical.
This summer, the Art Gallery at Evergreen (AGE) reinterprets the touring exhibition do it. We are collaborating with our summer campers, festivalgoers, local organizations and Evergreen staff and visitors to creatively represent 41 instructional artworks from the do it: compendium’s list of 250. This immense collection of open-ended instructions written by artists has circulated worldwide and now comes to Coquitlam. Our iteration of this evolving exhibition unfolds in the art gallery, during our summer camps, out in the community and on social media. do it at the AGE includes completed wall drawings and sculptural installations, works-in-progress that build over the duration of the exhibition and one-off performances and art activities.
Amalia Pica, Uri Aran, John Armleder, Robert Ashley, Nairy Baghramian, Jérôme Bel, Bernadette Corporation, Louise Bourgeois, Amy E. Cohen and Francisco J. Varela, Jimmie Durham, Tracey Emin, Claire Fontaine, Simone Forti, Paul-Armand Gette, Leon Golub, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Joan Jonas, Ilya Kabakov, Ben Kinmont, Alison Knowles, Aaron Koblin, Julius Koller, Koo Jeong-A, David Lamelas, Adriana Lara, Sol LeWitt, Lucy R. Lippard, Cildo Meireles, Jonas Mekas, Jean-Luc Nancy, Max Neuhaus, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Philippe Parreno, Raqs Media Collective, Dimitar Sasselov, Peter Saville, Hassan Sharif, Jim Shaw, Erwin Wurm
Glen Pine 50Plus Seniors, Mixed Bag Band, Freestyle Hip Hop Class at Pinetree Community Centre, City of Coquitlam Recreation, Parks & Culture and Vancouver Soundwalk Collective.
Image: Installation view of do it, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2018, Photo Rachel Topham Photography.
do it is an exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. do it and the accompanying publication, do it: the compendium, 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.
Thank you to our Exhibition Sponsors: