Samstag’s 2015 program kicks off with do it (adelaide), an exciting exhibition concept that sprang into life more than 20 years ago, and has since become one of the international contemporary art world’s most enduring successes.
Conceived in Paris in 1993 by Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier, do it has become the longest-running and most far-reaching exhibition ever to have happened – constantly evolving and generating new versions of itself.
do it has toured to venues from New York to Manchester, Budapest to Salt Lake City, Kosovo to Moscow, and now in 2015 to Adelaide. do it (adelaide) is only the second time an Australian gallery has been invited to host a do it exhibition.
Initially twelve artists were invited to propose artworks based on written instructions that could be openly interpreted every time they were presented. The instructions were then translated into nine different languages and circulated internationally as a manual. In the 20 years since Obrist, Boltanski and Lavier mused over the potential of written instructions by artists, do it has created exhibition formats that can be flexible and open-ended. Each time do it is presented new instructions are added to the do it manual.
For do it (adelaide), Samstag Curator Gillian Brown has invited twelve South Australian artists to participate. Each artist has been assigned a particular instruction to produce an artwork for do it (adelaide). The new works they create will be displayed at Samstag, along with several instructions for Museum visitors to interact with. Accompanying the exhibition is an archive delving into the history of this ever-evolving global art phenomenon.
As befits the festival season the exhibition opens Thursday 19 February 2015 with an instruction by Argentinian artist Amalia Pica to… ‘throw a party’. Samstag will open its doors for a party where each guest contributes to the occasion by enjoying great music, drinks and the opportunity to create artworks for the exhibition.
One of the most consistently popular projects is an instruction by iconic Japanese artist Yoko Ono which is being carried out by artist Jessie Lumb. Also at Samstag Museum, Louise Haselton is working on an instruction by American artist Alison Knowles, and 2012 Samstag Scholar, Monte Masi, will respond to David Reed’s instruction with a video work from his base in California. Christian Lock, who has just returned from his 2013 Samstag Scholarship which he undertook at Parsons The New School of Design in New York City, will create a painting by interpreting an instruction by Albert Oehlen that audiences will be able to interact with.
Students and researchers from the South Australian School of Art will have an opportunity to be involved in the do it (adelaide) exhibition by recreating a wall drawing by the late American artist Sol LeWitt.
Other events associated with do it (adelaide) include a dance interpretation by Natalie Allen, and a very special performance by Soundstream Collective for the 2015 ANZAC day commemoration.
Erica Green, Director of the Samstag Museum, says ‘our 2015 program is probably one of the best annual programs since the Museum opened in 2007. If that’s not enough to spark interest, Samstag Museum and its ART AFTER DARK program were listed in the recent New York Times “52 places to go in 2015”.’
do it (adelaide) will run from Friday 13 February until Saturday 25 April 2015. ART AFTER DARK, the Samstag’s successful partnership with West End arts organisations and local businesses will continue to be a focus on Thursday nights from 5pm.