Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

Independent Curators International supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement.

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do it (2013-)

Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, do it began in Paris in 1993 as a conversation between Obrist and the artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. Obrist was concerned with how exhibition formats could be rendered more flexible and open-ended. This discussion led to the question of whether a show could take “scores,” or written instructions by artists, as a point of departure, each of which could be interpreted anew every time they were enacted. To test the idea, Obrist invited 12 artists to send instructions, which were then translated into 9 different languages and circulated internationally as a book.

Nearly 20 years later after the initial conversation took place, do it has been featured in at least 50 different locations worldwide, including Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Uruguay. The driving force behind the exhibition is aptly summarized in the words of Marcel Duchamp, who states that “art is a game between all people of all periods.” He is only one of several predecessors to have shaped the modus operandi of this exhibition, which also draws from Conceptual and Minimalist art of the 1960s and 1970s as well as Fluxus practices. Each do it exhibition is uniquely site-specific because it engages the local community in a dialogue that responds to and adds a new set of instructions, while it remains global in the scope of its ever-expanding repertoire. This also means that the generative and accumulative aspects of do it’s ongoing presentation are less concerned with notions of the “reproduction” or materiality of the artworks than with revealing the nuances of human interpretation in its various permutations and iterations. In this way, do it is able to bridge the gaps between the temporalities of past, present and future.

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.” In addition to the production of an on-line version of do it created by Obrist in conjunction with e-flux in 2004, other versions that do it has grown to encompass include do it (museum)do it (home)do it (TV)do it (seminar)do it (outside)do it (party), as well as some anti-do its, a philosophy do it and most recently a UNESCO children’s do it.

In building off the 1997 collaboration of ICI with Obrist to create a do it that took place in 25 cities across North America, a new version of the exhibition, which marks the 20th anniversary of this landmark project, presents the largest selection of instructional works to date—including 50 newly commissioned pieces from artists selected by Obrist and ICI. Organized around the instructions submitted by artists, venues will select at least 20 instructional works to present from a list of 250.

 do it is a traveling 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 ICI’s International Forum and Board of Trustees.

Touring locations
Pompano Beach Cultural Center and Ali Cultural Arts
Jul 9, 2021 – Oct 21, 2021
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design
May 13, 2021 – Dec 31, 2021
ValstaKonst, Sigtuna Museum & Art
May 20, 2021 – Dec 19, 2021
Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts
Oct 1, 2020 – Dec 15, 2020
National YoungArts Foundation
Oct 22, 2020
A4 Art Museum
Sep 26, 2020 – Dec 6, 2020
The New Gallery at Austin Peay State University
Sep 30, 2019 – Dec 6, 2019
Gränslandet - Symfonisk Fest
Aug 16 – 17, 2019
Hunter East Harlem Gallery
Apr 12, 2019 – Jun 1, 2019
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Oct 27, 2018 – Mar 3, 2019
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
Dec 4 – 15, 2018
Supercurator. Contemporary Thought Foundation
Oct 4 – 28, 2018
Jun 26, 2018 – Aug 26, 2018
Art Gallery at Evergreen, Evergreen Cultural Centre
Jul 14, 2018 – Sep 2, 2018
Centro Cultural Parque de España
Oct 26, 2018 – Dec 16, 2018
Clay Center for Arts and Sciences of West Virginia
Mar 3, 2018 – Apr 29, 2018
Mobile Museum of Art
Jan 26, 2018 – Jul 25, 2018
Pike School of Art
Nov 11, 2017 – Feb 25, 2018
220 Cultura Contemporánea
Aug 18, 2017 – Nov 5, 2017
Ilmin Museum of Art
Apr 28, 2017 – Jul 9, 2017
Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto
Apr 27, 2017 – Jun 23, 2017
Montclair Art Museum
Sep 9, 2016 – Jan 1, 2017
Ulrich Museum of Art
Apr 23, 2016 – Aug 28, 2016
Blue Star Contemporary
Mar 3, 2016 – May 8, 2016
Art Museum of the University of Memphis
Mar 1, 2016 – May 10, 2016
Frac des pays de la Loire / HAB Galerie
Feb 5, 2016 – Apr 17, 2016
Galerija Umjetnina
Jan 30, 2016 – Dec 16, 2016
Galerie de l’UQAM
Jan 14, 2016 – Feb 20, 2016
Verge Center for the Arts
Jan 9, 2016 – Mar 20, 2016
Tallinna Kunstihoone
Nov 24, 2015 – Jan 10, 2016
Bowling Green State University
Oct 21, 2015 – Nov 19, 2015
Kunsthal Aarhus
Oct 2, 2015 – Nov 29, 2015
NuMu – El Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
Aug 8, 2015 – Oct 18, 2015
Kunsthal Rotterdam
Jul 4, 2015 – Aug 30, 2015
Napa Valley Museum
Jun 19, 2015 – Aug 30, 2015
KKW Kunst Kraft Werk
May 22, 2015 – Jul 9, 2015
Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art
Feb 13, 2015 – Apr 24, 2015
Denler Art Gallery
Oct 16, 2014 – Nov 13, 2014
The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design
Sep 13, 2014 – Dec 6, 2014
Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town
Sep 4 – 13, 2014
The Episcopal Academy
Sep 3, 2014 – Apr 3, 2015
Garage Center for Contemporary Culture
May 1, 2014 – Jul 6, 2014
Musée de la danse
Apr 1, 2014 – May 17, 2014
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
Jan 17, 2014 – May 31, 2014
Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina
Nov 15, 2013 – Jan 14, 2014
Handwerker Gallery
Sep 30, 2013 – Nov 1, 2013
Samek Art Gallery
Sep 23, 2013 – Dec 12, 2013
Manchester Art Gallery
Jul 5, 2013 – Sep 22, 2013
MU artspace
May 17, 2013 – Jul 19, 2013
May 17 – 19, 2013
Gund Gallery at Kenyon College
May 12, 2013 – Aug 25, 2013
Socrates Sculpture Park
May 12, 2013 – Jul 7, 2013
Marina Abramović, Etel Adnan, Sophia Al Maria, Pawel Althamer, Amalia Pica, Carl Andre, Kathryn Andrews, Uri Aran, Cory Arcangel, John Armleder, Robert Ashley, David Askevold, Ed Atkins, Tarek Atoui, Lutz Bacher, Darren Bader, Nairy Baghramian, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Yto Barrada, Robert Barry, Gianfranco Baruchello, Jérôme Bel, Kim Beom, Bernadette Corporation, Gerry Bibby, Dara Birnbaum, Mel Bochner, John Bock, Christian Boltanski, Iñaki Bonillas, Louise Bourgeois, Geta Bratescu, Joan Brossa, Daniel Buren, Waltercio Caldas, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Mircea Cantor, Antonio Caro, Maurizio Cattelan, John Chamberlain, Paul Chan, Boris Charmatz, Chu Yun, Jay Chung, Hélène Cixous, Lygia Clark, Amy E. Cohen and Francisco J. Varela, Douglas Coupland, Meg Cranston, Critical Art Ensemble, Minerva Cuevas, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij, Tacita Dean, Wilson Díaz, Diller + Scofidio, do it tv, Trisha Donnelly, Jimmie Durham, Maria Eichorn, Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tracey Emin, Ayse Erkmen, Cerith Wyn Evans, Mathias Faldbakken, Cao Fei, Feng Mengbo, Fischli & Weiss, Claire Fontaine, William Forsythe, Simone Forti, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Yona Friedman, Simon Fujiwara, Theaster Gates, Paul-Armand Gette, Jef Geys, Gilbert & George, Simryn Gill, Liam Gillick, Édouard Glissant, Leon Golub, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Konstantin Grcic, Joseph Grigely, Ulrike Grossarth, Gu Dexin, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Shilpa Gupta, Anna Halprin, Richard Hamilton, Harsha NS, Mona Hatoum, Federico Herrero, Anthony Hill, Maria Teresa Hincapie, Roger Hiorns, Damien Hirst, Shere Hite, Nicholas Hlobo, Carsten Höller, Jonathan Horowitz, Hu Fang, Huang Yong Ping, Pierre Huyghe, Fabrice Hybert, Cristina Iglesias, Joan Jonas, Ilya Kabakov, Stephen Kaltenbach, Allan Kaprow, Mike Kelley, Hassan Khan, Ben Kinmont, Ragnar Kjartansson, Alison Knowles, Aaron Koblin, Terence Koh, Jiří Kolář, Julius Koller,
Koo Jeong-A, Surasi Kusolwong, Suzanne Lacey, David Lamelas, Adriana Lara, Bertrand Lavier, Xavier Le Roy, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Sol LeWitt, Klara Liden, Erik van Lieshout, Lucy R. Lippard, Liu Ding, Liu Wei, Thomas Lommée, Aníbal López, Lee Lozano, Lu Chunsheng, Sarah Lucas, David Lynch, Jorge Macchi, Tobias Madison, Mark Manders, Christian Marclay, Enzo Mari, Eva Marisaldi, Chris Marker, Helen Marten, Paul McCarthy, Cildo Meireles, Jonas Mekas, Annette Messager, Olaf Metzel, John Miller, Andrei Monastyrski, Robert Morris, Valérie Mréjen, Otto Mühl, Eileen Myles, Jean-Luc Nancy, Deimantas Narkevičius, Ernesto Neto, Rivane Neuenschwander, Max Neuhaus, Albert Oehlen, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono, Füsun Onur, Damián Ortega, Fernando Ortega, Clifford Owens, Nam June Paik, Pak Sheung-Chueng, Charlemagne Palestine, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Lygia Pape, Nicolás Paris, Philippe Parreno, Marko Peljhan, Cesare Pietroiusti, Adrian Piper, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Marjetica Potrč, Cedric Price, Raqs Media Collective, Casey E. B. Reas, David Reed, Tobias Rehberger, Pedro Reyes, Jason Rhoades, Pipilotti Rist, David Robbins, Adrián Villar Rojas, Ugo Rondinone, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Claude Rutault, Anri Sala, Eszter Salamon, Tomás Saraceno, Julião Sarmento, Dimitar Sasselov, Peter Saville, Tomas Schmit, Thomas Schütte, Tino Sehgal, Sejima Kazuyo, Hassan Sharif, Jim Shaw, Rupert Sheldrake, Shimabuku, Gabriel Sierra, Alexandre Singh, Andreas Slominski, Michael Smith, Michael E. Smith, Nancy Spero, Bruce Sterling, Mladen Stilinović, Sturtevant, Hugo Suter, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Tone Yasunou, Mario Garcia Torres, Ryan Trecartin, Rosemarie Trockel, Agnes Varda, Anton Vidokle, Tris Vonna-Michell, Franz Erhard Walther, Wang Jianwei, Wang Wei, Hannah Weinberger, Lawrence Weiner, Ai Weiwei, Richard Wentworth, Franz West, Emmett Williams, Gil Wolman, Erwin Wurm, Xu Tan, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Zheng Guogu