Do It: The Compendium by Hans Ulrich Obrist

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June 18, 2013
With his newest book, internationally renowned curator Hans Ulrich Obrist brings together 20 years of his do it project: an expansive series of artist-produced instructions, able to be replicated anytime, anywhere. Read Full Article
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  Born 1968 in Zurich, Switzerland, Obrist currently lives and works in London, where he is co-director of exhibitions and programs as well as director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery. Obrist’s prolific career has included such accomplishments as curator of the Museum in Progress, Vienna (1993-2000), curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne (2000-today), and curator and co-curator for more than 200 solo and group exhibitions and biennials internationally since 1991. Obrist’s other accomplishments also include the New York Prize Senior Fellowship for 2007-08 from the Van Alen Institute, and roles as a contributing editor for Abitare, Artforum, and Paradis Magazine.

    Born 1968 in Zurich, Switzerland, Obrist currently lives and works in London, where he is co-director of exhibitions and programs as well as director of international projects at the Serpentine Gallery. Obrist’s prolific career has included such accomplishments as curator of the Museum in Progress, Vienna (1993-2000), curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne (2000-today), and curator and co-curator for more than 200 solo and group exhibitions and biennials internationally since 1991. Obrist’s other accomplishments also include the New York Prize Senior Fellowship for 2007-08 from the Van Alen Institute, and roles as a contributing editor for Abitare, Artforum, and Paradis Magazine.

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  According to ICI:“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 [do it], which also draws from…art of the 1960s and 1970s as well as Fluxus practices.” Called a “middle finger to Art” by some, this project deliberately tries to hone the anything goes attitude which has fueled revelatory movements ranging from Conceptual and Minimalism to punk rock.

    According to ICI:

    “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 [do it], which also draws from…art of the 1960s and 1970s as well as Fluxus practices.” Called a “middle finger to Art” by some, this project deliberately tries to hone the anything goes attitude which has fueled revelatory movements ranging from Conceptual and Minimalism to punk rock.

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  Oscillating from the light-hearted to the profound, some of the most intriguing instructions are also the simplest. Jérôme Bel Shirtology, 2012 © Tate, 2012; Photo: Tate Photography, Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson

    Oscillating from the light-hearted to the profound, some of the most intriguing instructions are also the simplest. Jérôme Bel Shirtology, 2012 © Tate, 2012; Photo: Tate Photography, Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson

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  Though not included in the book, Claire Fontaine’s piece is poignantly minimalist, and majorly straight to the point.Claire Fontaine, Instructions for do it, 2012, Courtesy of artist.

    Though not included in the book, Claire Fontaine’s piece is poignantly minimalist, and majorly straight to the point.

    Claire Fontaine, Instructions for do it, 2012, Courtesy of artist.

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  No stranger to taking on multiple projects across disciplines, a playful David Lynch demonstrated how to make a ricky board.David Lynch, Do It: How To Make A Ricky Board, 2012, Courtesy of artist.

    No stranger to taking on multiple projects across disciplines, a playful David Lynch demonstrated how to make a ricky board.

    David Lynch, Do It: How To Make A Ricky Board, 2012, Courtesy of artist.

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  For his contribution to do it, Thai artist Rikrit Tiravanija includes a recipe for a spicy paste. The above image and demonstration come from the vast archives maintained by ICI.

    For his contribution to do it, Thai artist Rikrit Tiravanija includes a recipe for a spicy paste. The above image and demonstration come from the vast archives maintained by ICI.

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  Making a splashy entrance at this year’s NADA Art Fair, do it’s booth created a wall-to-wall forest of orange tomes and installations for visitors to peak at.

    Making a splashy entrance at this year’s NADA Art Fair, do it’s booth created a wall-to-wall forest of orange tomes and installations for visitors to peak at.

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  Though we’ve yet to try it for accuracy, artist Alexandre Singh demonstrates how to turn wine into Pepsi.Alexandre Singh, Instructions for do it, 2012, Courtesy of artist,

    Though we’ve yet to try it for accuracy, artist Alexandre Singh demonstrates how to turn wine into Pepsi.

    Alexandre Singh, Instructions for do it, 2012, Courtesy of artist,

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  Berkeley, CA based artist Lutz Bacher provides a much needed dose of reality for her do it instructions.Instructions for do it, 2012, Courtesy of artist.

    Berkeley, CA based artist Lutz Bacher provides a much needed dose of reality for her do it instructions.

    Instructions for do it, 2012, Courtesy of artist.

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  As part of Sculpture for Strolling (2005), Pistoletto advises participants: "After reading the daily newspaper, immerse it in water then form a small sphere by compressing the wet newspaper with one's hands. Enlarge the sphere by adding new daily newspapers soaked in water. Continue this procedure until the sphere is a meter in diameter. When well dried out, roll the newspaper sphere outside in the streets and the squares as a "sculpture for strolling."

    As part of Sculpture for Strolling (2005), Pistoletto advises participants: "After reading the daily newspaper, immerse it in water then form a small sphere by compressing the wet newspaper with one's hands. Enlarge the sphere by adding new daily newspapers soaked in water. Continue this procedure until the sphere is a meter in diameter. When well dried out, roll the newspaper sphere outside in the streets and the squares as a "sculpture for strolling."

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  do it: the compendium, Independent Curators International (ICI), New York and D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., May 2013, 448 pages. ISBN: 978-1-938922-01-5. Foreword and acknowledgements by Kate Fowle and Frances Wu Giarratano. Introduction by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Essays by Bruce Altshuler, Hu Fang, Virginia Perez-Ratton, and Elizabeth Presa. Available to purchase at Curators International.

    do it: the compendium, Independent Curators International (ICI), New York and D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., May 2013, 448 pages. ISBN: 978-1-938922-01-5. Foreword and acknowledgements by Kate Fowle and Frances Wu Giarratano. Introduction by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Essays by Bruce Altshuler, Hu Fang, Virginia Perez-Ratton, and Elizabeth Presa. Available to purchase at Curators International.

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