“Get 180 lbs. of local wrapped candy and drop it in a corner.”
– Felix Gonzalez-Torres
While 180 pounds is a lot of candy, Felix Gonzalez Torres’s odd command is just one of the hundreds of artist instructions that form Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Do It. This project has assumed many forms, such as manuals, websites, gallery exhibitions, seminars, and more. The greatest component of the project has been the physical exhibitions that consist of interpretations of the artist instructions. This January, Verge Center for the Arts will interpret 20 of the 250 instructions in the Do It compendium, provided by artists such as Felix Gonzales-Torres, Yoko Ono, Amalia Pica, and Sol LeWitt.
Do It began in Paris 1993 as a conversation between the world famous curator, Hans Ulrich Obrist and multi-media artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. Apparently, they discussed what it would be like to organize an exhibition that would continue forever. So, inspired by Installation Art, Fluxus, and Yoko Ono’s book of art instructions, Grapefruit, Obrist invited artists to propose artworks based on written instructions that can be openly interpreted each time they are presented. Since then, the instructions have been translated into nine different languages and circulated internationally as a book.
For the past 20 years, artists and art professional worldwide have re-interpreted Do It into many different types of exhibits. The origin and transformation of Do It reflects Obrist’s desire to explore collaboration and shared invention in a constantly evolving art world. This exhibition has taken place in 60+ venues worldwide and includes nearly 400 artists from across the globe.
Do It is a traveling exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. Do It will be on view at Verge Center for the Arts from January 9 – March 20, 2016. Verge is located at 625 S Street, Sacramento, CA, 95811.
Words: Justina Martino.