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Do It 20 13: Yoko Ono and Ai Weiwei Join the Exhibition That Never Ends Do It 20 13: Yoko Ono and Ai Weiwei Join the Exhibition That Never Ends
Culture

Do It 20 13: Yoko Ono and Ai Weiwei Join the Exhibition That Never Ends

by Yasha Wallin

July 12, 2013
Do it. That's what a group of artists, as part of the Manchester International Festival exhibition, are urging. Instead of being passive viewers, creatives including Yoko Ono, Erwin Wurm, and Ai Weiwei are asking the audience to take action in a "performative encounter between artist and visitor." The way they propose this is through a series of instructions and exercises put forth to attendees.
 
Ono suggests: Circulate a picture of your smile to say, "Hello. How you doing?" Performance artist Michael Smith gets more elaborate suggesting you curate your own group exhibition; on a piece of paper, write the names of three famous artists / Add your name to the list / Make up a title and write a press release / Send the press release to three other artists and instruct them to add their names to the list of the artists / Tell everyone you know in person and online about your upcoming group exhibition. Artist Lucy Lippard commands: Do something that is visually striking, socially radical, conceptually and contextually sensitive, sustainable, in the public domain (outside of art venues), and hurts no living thing—something that will change the world. 
 
The exhibition and the exercises can be encountered in person at Manchester Art Gallery, but also online, with participants asked to upload their responses, or the documentation of selected instructions. Do It 20 13 is based on curator Hans Ulrich Obrist's book do it, first published in 1993, which explored the question: How would a work be transformed if someone else produced it? To address that quandary, he originally invited 12 artists to send in instructions that would make up the book, and an exhibition of the same name. Twenty years later, more than 350 artists have sent in instructions and the publication was updated this year. The longest running exhibition ever, the show has been staged in more than 50 different venues in countries around the world.
 
What would you instruct people to do? Give us details in the comments below.
 
Want to participate? Circulate a picture of your smile to say, "Hello. How you doing?" Click here to add this to your To-Do list. 
 
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