EN MAS’do it

  • Nicolás Dumit Estévez, C Room, Museo Folklórico Don Tomás Morel, performance, Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic. Photo: Raymond Marrero.
  • Christophe Chassol, BIG SUN, video still, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist.
  • Marlon Griffith, Positions + Power, 2014, performance, Port of Spain, Trinidad. © Marlon James.
  • Charles Campbell, Actor Boy: Fractal Engagement, April 21, 2014, performance, Kingston, Jamaica. Photo: Marvin Bartley.
  • Ebony G. Patterson, Invisible Presence: Bling Memories, 2014, Jamaica. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery. Photo: Monique Gilpin and Philip Rhoden.
  • Cauleen Smith, H-E-L-L-O videostill. Location Holy Cross Levee. Trombone: Michael Watson. Location Lower 9th Levee. Cinematography: William Sabourin, 2014.
  • Lorraine O'Grady, Looking For A Headdress, digital photograph constructed from video stills, dimensions variable, 2014.
  • Hew Locke, Give and Take, performance, August 23, 2014, Tate Modern, London. Photograph: Akiko Ota.
  • John Beadle, Inside-out, Outside-in, work in progress, 2015, Nassau, The Bahamas. Image courtesy of the artist.


Curated by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson

EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean is a pioneering exploration of the influences of Carnival on contemporary performance practices in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe.

Conceived around a series of nine commissioned performances realized during the 2014 Caribbean Carnival season across eight cities in six different countries, the exhibition considers the connections between Carnival and performance, masquerade and social criticism, diaspora and transnationalism. Taking its title from a pun on “Mas” (short for masquerade and synonymous with carnival in the English-speaking Caribbean), EN MAS’ considers a history of performance that does not take place on the stage or in the gallery but rather in the streets, addressing not the few but the many.

EN MAS’ introduces performance art with a focus on the influence that Carnival and related masquerading traditions in and of the Caribbean and its diasporas have had on contemporary performance discourse and practice, in both the artistic and curatorial realms. Indeed, EN MAS’ takes into account performance practices that do not trace their genealogy to the European avant-gardes of the early twentieth century but rather to the experiences of slavery and colonialism through to the mid-nineteenth century, the independence struggles and civil right movements of the mid-twentieth century and population migrations to and from the former colonial centers for most of the last century.

Throughout the 2014 Caribbean Carnival season, EN MAS’ tracked nine artists – John Beadle, Christophe Chassol, Charles Campbell, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Lorraine O’Grady, Ebony G. Patterson, and Cauleen Smith – as they engaged, transformed, or critiqued historical and contemporary Caribbean performance practices from Carnival in Santiago de los Caballeros, Port of Spain, Fort-de-France, Kingston, London and Brooklyn, to Junkanoo in Nassau and the New Orleans second line – or in their own imaginary cartographies and invented performance traditions. The resulting newly commissioned works took place according to different modes of public address and audience engagement including semi-private rituals at the margin of the festival celebrations and street processions in the midst of the carnival revelry.

Prior to a national and international tour organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), EN MAS’ will bring together material remnants or reconstitutions from the performances as well as photographic and filmic interpretations thus also presenting some of the best photographers, filmmakers and videographers working in the Caribbean today including Marvin Bartley, Arnaldo James, Marlon James, Raymond Marrero, Oneika Russell, Nile Saulter, Storm Saulter and Michelle Serieux to name a few. The exhibition debuted at the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (CAC) and was designed by Gia Wolff.

An accompanying publication, co-published by ICI and CAC includes critical essays by the exhibition’s curators as well as Shannon Jackson and Kobena Mercer among others, monographic texts by an array of cultural and art critics, and an extensive array of illustrations. In addition to the publication, this website offers additional insights into each artist’s performance while tracking the exhibition tour. For more information on the publication, please continue here.

This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and by Institut français in support of African and Caribbean projects. For more information on the CAC, please continue here.



EN MAS’ at Museum of the African Diaspora

In conjunction with the exhibition EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco has organized a series of performances and films.

September 20, 2017 - March 4, 2018 @ Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)


EN MAS’ Curators’ Talk

On Friday, April 29, the curators of EN MAS’: Carnival, Junkanoo and Performance Art of the Caribbean, Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson, will lead a discussion on the exhibition.

April 29, 2016 @ National Art Gallery of the Bahamas


En Mas’ An alternative space for Carnival performance

Ray Funk recently wrote an extensive two-part review of EN MAS’ for the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.

June 8, 2015


Re-Making Fractal Engagement: 6 Perspectives

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics recently published a conversation between EN MAS’ artist Charles Campbell and EN MAS’ curators Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson.

June 4, 2015


EN MAS’ Featured in Gambit

D. Eric Bookhardt recently reviewed EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean for Gambit.

May 20, 2015


Reporting from EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean

Nicole Smythe Johnson recently reviewed EN MAS’ for ARC Magazine.

May 8, 2015


EN MAS’ featured in Burnaway

Burnaway recently featured a review of EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean at the CAC New Orleans.

May 1, 2015


LATENT VIBRATIONS, EN MAS’ featured in Oxford American

The Oxford American recently featured an in-depth review of EN MAS’ at the CAC New Orleans.

April 16, 2015


on the Political Aesthetics of Carnival in Art Papers

Art Papers recently featured an interview of EN MAS’ curator Claire Tancons by D. Eric Bookhardt.

April 15, 2015


“Caribbean Dreams” in The New Orleans Advocate

The New Orleans Advocate recently featured a review of EN MAS’ at the CAC New Orleans.

April 2, 2015


EN MAS’ Featured in Artforum

Joshua Jelly-Schapiro of Artforum recently reviewed the premier exhibition of EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean at the CAC New Orleans.

April 1, 2015


EN MAS’ Featured in Gambit

The upcoming opening of EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans was recently previewed in an article by Will Coviello for Gambit.

March 4, 2015



Priscilla Frank of The Huffington Post recently highlighted the upcoming opening of En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean.

February 13, 2015


Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival curated by Claire Tancons at Tate Modern

On August 23rd, artists Hew Locke and Marlon Griffith will participate in Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival at Tate Modern in London.

August 7, 2014



Claire Tancons

Trained as a curator and art historian, Claire Tancons practices curating as an expanded creative field and experiments with the political aesthetics of walking, marching, second lining, masquerading and parading in participatory processional performances. She has curated for established and emerging international biennials including Prospect New Orleans (2008); the Gwangju Biennale (2008); the Cape Town Biennial (2009); Biennale Bénin (2012); the Göteborg Biennial (2013); the first biennial edition of Printemps de Septembre (2016); Tout-Monde, Caribbean Contemporary Arts Festival, Miami (2018-2019), and was a guest curator for the BMW Tate Live Series at Tate Modern (2014). She is currently a curator for Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber (with Zoe Butt and Omar Kholeif), slated to open in 2019.

Since 2012, she has initiated a series of collaborations tackling different aspects of public ceremonial culture, civic rituals, carnival and processional performance including Far Festa: Nuove Feste Veneziane, about contemporary civic rituals inspired by the former Venetian Republic (with curatorial collective CAKE AWAY; IUAV University and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, summer 2013), Public Practice, about New Orleans’ processional culture (with Delaney Martin; New Orleans Airlift, Fall 2014), Tide by Side, about processional performance’s ability to provide a framework for celebrating and reflecting on community (with the opening ceremony of Faena Forum Miami Beach, 2016), and EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (with Krista Thompson; CAC New Orleans, 2014-15 and ICI New York 2016-18).

Tancons is the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellowship (2008), a Prince Claus Fund Artistic Production Grant (2009), two Curatorial Research Fellowships from the Foundation for Art Initiatives (2007, 2009), an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award (2012), and was selected by Artsy as “One of the 20 most influential young curators in the US” in 2016.

Krista Thompson

Krista Thompson is the Weinberg College Board of Visitors Professor and Professor of Art History at Northwestern University.  She is the author of An Eye for the Tropics (2006) and Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice (2015), recipient of the Charles Rufus Award for distinguished book in the history of at from the College Art Association (2016). She has published articles in Art Bulletin, Art Journal, American Art, Representations, The Drama Review, and Small Axe; curated several exhibitions, including the National Exhibition (NE3) (2006) and Developing Blackness: Studio Photographs of “Over the Hill” Nassau in the Independence Era (2008) at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas; and coedited (with Claire Tancons) En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean (2015). Thompson is currently working on The Evidence of Things Not Photographed, a book that examines notions of photographic absence and disappearance in colonial and postcolonial Jamaica and Black Light, a manuscript about electronic light and its archival recovery in African American art.

Booking Info

Number of artists: Nine
Number of works: Nine artist projects consisting of 1-4 parts each
Space requirements: 5,000 sq feet minimum
Touring dates: Spring 2015 – April 2018

For additional information, as well as to check specific dates of availability, contact Becky Nahom at 212.254.8200 x 129, or

  • Installation view, Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2017.
  • do it instruction by Nicolás Paris, Episcopal Academy, 2015.
  • Installation View, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS, 2016.
  • Migros do it, 1993.
  • Amalia Pica do it instruction, MU artspace, 2013.
  • do it instruction by Carl Andre, do it Moscow, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014. Photo: Alexandra Paperno. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • do it instruction by Anna Halprin, do it Moscow, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014.
  • do it 2013, The Archive Room, Manchester Art Gallery, 2013.
  • Sol LeWitt do it instruction, MU Artspace, 2013.
  • do it (museum), Kunsthalle Ritter, 1994.
  • Installation view of do it at Stacion-Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, Kosovo, 2013.
  • do it instruction by Michelangelo Pistoletto, The Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, 2014.
  • do it Moscow, installation view, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014. Photo: Anton Silenin. © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.


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.


Hans Ulrich Obrist and do it Profiled in The New Yorker

Hans Ulrich Obrist and the ICI traveling exhibition do it are profiled extensively in the current issue of The New Yorker magazine.

December 2, 2014


do it (short)

An animated short about Hans Ulrich Obrist’s ongoing exhibition do it, narrated by Reggie Watts.

April 28, 2014 - May 5, 2014 @ Everywhere


Scores for Installations: Conversation with Robert Fleck

In 1996, three years after the inception of do it, curator Robert Fleck interviewed Hans Ulrich Obrist on the impetus for organizing the generative exhibition. Obrist shares his thoughts on the first iterations of the exhibition and the unending potential for future versions.

March 17, 2013


do it at e-flux

Throughout its duration at e-flux, the contents of do it have grown exponentially to include new instructions, essays, interviews as well as feedback from the audience. Please continue to the e-flux website to find out more about the history of the project.


Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zürich, Switzerland) is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London, and Senior Artistic Advisor of The Shed in New York. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show ‘World Soup (The Kitchen Show)’ in 1991, he has curated more than 300 exhibitions.

Obrist has lectured internationally at academic and art institutions, and is a contributing editor to the magazines Artforum, AnOther Magazine, 032C, a regular contributor to Mousse and Kaleidoscope and he writes columns for Das Magazin and Weltkunst. In 2011 he received the CCS Bard Award for Curatorial Excellence, and in 2015 he was awarded the International Folkwang Prize for his commitment to the arts.

His recent publications include Mondialité, Conversations in Mexico,Ways of Curating, The Age of Earthquakes with Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar, and Lives of The Artists, Lives of The Architects.


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 Lacy, 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,

Booking Info

Number of artists or artists groups: 250
Number of works: 250
Space required: extremely flexible, though at least 1,000 square feet is recommended
For additional information, as well as to check specific dates of availability, contact Becky Nahom at 212.254.8200 x 129, or

NEW YORK, NY 10013
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