“Individual instructions can open empty spaces for occupation and invoke possibilities for the interpretation and rephrasing of artworks in a totally free manner. do it effects interpretations based on location, and calls for a dovetailing of local structures with the artworks themselves. The diverse cities in which do it takes place actively construct the artwork context and endow it with their individual marks or distinctions.
It is important to bear in mind that do it is less concerned with copies, images, or reproductions of artworks, than with human interpretation. […]Each realization of do it occurs as an activity in time and space. The essential nature of this activity is imprecise and can be located somewhere between permutation and negotiation within a field of tension described by repetition and difference. Meaning is multiplied as the various interpretations of the texts accumulate in venue after venue.” –Hans Ulrich Obrist, do it: the compendium, 19
The instruction-based art project do it, initiated by Hans Ulrich Obrist in the 1990s and carried out by ICI and e-flux, has expanded on a global scale and into the present day to include iterations and instructions from numerous artists around the world. Obrist considers this proliferation a form of continuous exhibiting. With a focus on interpretive freedom, participants translate instructions provided by contemporary artists found in the book do it: the compendium using locally available materials. Naturally, instruction-based art privileges themes of variation, copy and authenticity, play and experimentation, resulting in a work of art unconcerned with a specific aesthetic or ownership. Instead, what drives the exhibition is the act of interpretation.
This exhibition structure opens up a radically different connection between artist and art practice than is traditionally conceived in the Western art tradition and current global art market. Hopefully, this exhibition will allow us, as curators and artists, the freedom to consider this relationship as well as the relationship to the art world at large. In this vein, realizing this project in the Lamar Dodd Galleries links UGA to a global art community, as the creations will be documented on e-flux’s do it website.
As curators, we are intrigued by the emphasis this exhibition places on individual interpretation and variation within the parameters of the instructions. It is our hope that the variety of manifestations in this particular exhibition will bridge our ideas with the international do it community. Although the focus is on process and performance, the instructions selected as the basis of the exhibition will tend toward the concrete realization of an art object or its documentation in the gallery space and be considered in terms of feasibility and relevance.
It is unpredictable how the show will physically manifest, due to both the curation process and the inherently flexible nature of instruction-based art. However, the instructions indicate how it may materialize, thus certain parameters can be set. Seven artists will interpret and bring to fruition a different set of instructions as they see fit, with any performance elements staged during the exhibition opening. The instructions will be displayed next to their realizations. Certain artworks will be actualized as part of the opening, such as Throw a Party (Amalia Pica, 2012) and perhaps others as will be determined.