'What would happen if we started an exhibition that wouldn't ever stop?' That was what curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and the artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier talked about in a café in Paris in 1993. Twenty years later the flexible and open ended practice of do it has spread all over the world in many different ways. do it is an exhibition in progress, made out of individual instructions by artists that can open possibilities for the interpretations and rephrasing of artworks in a totally free manner. It is important to bear in mind that do it is less concerned with copies, images, or reproductions of artworks, than with human interpretation. For do it no artworks are shipped, instead everyday actions and materials serve as the starting point for the artworks to be recreated at each ‘performance site’ according to written instructions. Each realization of do it occurs as an activity in time and space. No two interpretations of the same instructions are ever identical.
do it at MU is the first appearance of this longest running curatorial project in the Netherlands. The 20th anniversary of this landmark project, will present the largest selection of instructional works to date –including 80 newly commissioned pieces from artists selected by Obrist and Independent Curators International. They are all brought together in the newly released publication: Hans Ulrich Obrist, do it: the compendium (ICI and DAP, May 2013). do it is a travelling exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. 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 of ICI’s International Forum and Board of Trustees.