Based on the concept of a do-it-yourself manual, Do It provides step by step instructions for producing actions, artworks and events that can be constructed and conducted either at home or at a museum.
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Marina Abramovic pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always been both her subject and medium; exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in the quest for transformation. Her career began in Belgrade during the early 1970s, and her work has since appeared at The Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and The New Museum in New York; the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and many others. She has won a Bessie, as the New York Dance and Performance Award is called, and the Venice Biennale's Lion D'Or.
John Baldessari was born in National City, California in 1931, and lives and works in Santa Monica, California. His work has been exhibited in museums such as The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and in art galleries worldwide. He has also recently curated exhibitions at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, in Washington D.C., The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery in New York.
Matthew Barney (b. 1967) has exhibited all over the world, with solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, among others. His work has been included in international group shows, including the Whitney Biennial and the Carnegie International. Barney was awarded the Europa 2000 prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale and was the first recipient of the Guggenheim Museum's Hugo Boss Prize in 1996.
Christian Boltanski was born in Paris in 1944. His numerous solo exhibitions include shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston. He has shown four times at the Venice Biennale. Boltanski is represented in New York by the Marian Goodman Gallery.
Born in 1911 in Paris, Louise Bourgeoiswas raised in a household that famously included her father's mistress, who was also Louise's nanny. She studied philosophy and mathematics before turning to art in 1934, and over the next few years studied at various art academies and in the atelier of Fernand Leger, among others. She moved to New York in 1938 with her new husband, American art historian Robert Goldwater. Her first U.S. showing was in a print exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, and over the next 50 years, she exhibited consistently in solo and group shows. In 1982, Bourgeois was the subject of the first retrospective ever given to a woman artist at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and her work has remained in the spotlight ever since.
Liam Gillick was born in Aylesbury, Great Britain, in 1964 and studied at Hertfordshire College of Art, and Goldsmiths College, London. Often combining text and installation, Gillickis work frequently investigates economics and aesthetics in modern society. A finalist for the Turner Prize in 2002, his work has appeared at Documenta in 1997 and at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2003, as well as in numerous solo shows worldwide. He lives and works in London and New York.
Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1952 and came to London in 1975. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1995 and has had solo exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Castello di Rivoli in Turin, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Tate Britain, among others. She recently curated Artist's Choice at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Joan Jonas was born in 1936 in New York, where she currently lives and works. She received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Columbia University, New York, in 1965. Her first performance retrospective was at the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1979) and her first US retrospective was at the University Art Museum, Berkeley (1980) (Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, 1981). She has exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Institute of the Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; The Kitchen, New York, and Pat Hearn Gallery, New York. Jonas has had major retrospectives at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1994), and Galerie der Stadt, Stuttgart, Germany (2000), and was represented in Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002).
Mike Kelley, one of the most controversial, prolific and influential figures in contemporary art, was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, and earned a Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters from California Institute of the Arts. His work, often wickedly humorous and drawing on both high art and the vernacular with distinctively American iconography, ranges across media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, music, performance, writing and video projects, the last often in collaboration with artists such as Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon and Tony Oursler. In 1993, The Whitney Museum of American Art held a major retrospective of his work. He lives in Los Angeles, and is a member of the graduate faculty at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
Alison Knowles was born in New York City in 1933, and graduated from the Pratt Institue of Fine Art in Brooklyn. In the 60s she worked for Special Editions Press doing silkscreens and was associated with the Fluxus movement. Her installtion The Big Book was realized in New York and toured Canada and Europe before finally collapsing in California in the mid-seventies. Her second walk-in book, The Book of Bean opened in Venice in 1983. Her computer instigated dwelling The House of Dust is on permanent display in California. Her other titles include Bread and Water, Spoken Texts, and A Bean Concordan.
Hans-Ulrich Obrist was born in 1968 in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1993, he founded the Museum Robert Walser and began to run the Migrateurs program at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris where he served as a Curator for contemporary art. He presently serves as the Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programs and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Obrist's ongoing curatorial experiment, this anthology collects 250 "scores"―written instructions for the production of an artwork―from the artists invited to participate in the 50 iterations of the globally traveling "do it" exhibition to date. (Editors Art in America)
Obrist recruited more than 60 artists (icluding Ai Weiwei and David Lynch) to write instructionsfor creating all manner of works, which have been interpreted by others and put on display alongside those directions. (Jonathan Aprea Time Out Magazine)
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