Tonight an exhibition of instruction-based art that I curated with fellow art history graduate student Brooke Leeton is opening at UGA’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. I’ve been interested in do it since attending tranzit’s do it (party) in Budapest in 2013. do it is a curatorial project originally conceived by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist based on a simple proposition: “Create an instruction that someone else can use to make an artwork.” Initiated in the 90s, do it has expanded on a global scale and into the present day to include instructions from numerous artists around the world. Obrist considers this proliferation a form of continuous exhibiting. With a focus on interpretive freedom, participants realize instructions provided by contemporary artists found in the book do it: the compendium. 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.
As curators, we were intrigued by the emphasis this exhibition places on individual interpretation and variation within the parameters of the instructions. We selected seven artists from the Lamar Dodd School of Art to realize the do it instruction of their choice: Michael Benedetti, Joe Camoosa, Allan Innman, Courtney McCracken, Ry McCullough, Hilary Schroeder, and Janelle Young. What is exhibited is the result of this interpretive process. In addition, Brooke and I will be contributing on our own performance–a first for both of us. As all the works were made for the show and some, like ours, will only come into being in the course of the opening, the show overall was and is a surprise even to me.
Opening reception if from 6 – 8 pm tonight in the Suite Gallery. More information available on the exhibition’s website.