From their website:
In 1993, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier imagined an exhibition that could constantly generate new versions of itself. To test the idea, they invited 12 artists to propose artworks based on written instructions that can be openly interpreted every time they are presented. The instructions were then translated into 9 different languages and circulated internationally between 1994 and 1996. Since then, more than 400 artists have taken part in the project in over 30 countries, giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress. Nowadays, the project circulates in the form of a book, do it: the compendium, an anthology comprising 250 instructions, published in 2012. For each incarnation, the host institution is responsible for making a selection from this anthology and coordinating the interpretations. That flexibility provides not only variations among versions of the same work, but also the emergence of a new set, a new configuration whose uniqueness is directly related to the specific context where do it is (re)deployed.
The Montreal edition of do it includes 60 instructions from the book do it: the compendium, in addition to 10 exclusive instructions developed by Quebecois artists, choreographers, authors or playwrights. 14 artists and collectives were also invited to interpret the instructions of other artists. The project is presented in three spaces: in the Galerie de l’UQAM, on campus and off campus (in a “take-out” version). Several mediation activities are planned for the Galerie and on the campus, calling on visitors to get involved in interpreting the works. The public will be encouraged to share their contributions via social media with the hashtag #doitmtl . The evening of the opening and the events of January 27 and February 3, 2016 will be an opportunity to watch artists in action interpreting some of the instructions: Danièle Desnoyers, Adam Kinner, Christian Lapointe, Rodolphe-Yves Lapointe, Thierry Marceau, Alexis O'Hara, Pour ici ou pour s’emporter, Françoise Sullivan and Wants & Needs Dance.
For this version of do it, the Galerie de l'UQAM has given curator Florence-Agathe Dubé-Moreau the task of selecting the works (instructions) and inviting artists to rethink the functions and codes of the exhibition in order to investigate their role in the production of knowledge in the arts. She wants to prompt reflection on curation, new approaches to museology and alternative art discourse and spaces. do it Montréal questions museum institutions by re-examining their political and social engagement as well as their embedding in the broader contemporary art system.