Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ untitled creation features a mountain of saltwater taffy. The work is part of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art’s
Felix Gonzalez-Torres' untitled creation features a mountain of saltwater taffy. The work is part of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art's 'do it' exhibit that will run through May 31. (Photo courtesy of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art)

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is excited to present the DIY exhibition "do it" — the longest running, furthest-reaching exhibition ever to take place.

It will run through May 31.

Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), do it began in 1993 as a conversation between artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier and Obrist himself, who was interested in the idea of an open-ended exhibition format that was flexible enough to transform with each location and enactment. To test the concept, Obrist invited 12 artists to submit instructions, which were translated into 9 languages and circulated internationally as a book.

With more than 50 stops worldwide since the initial exhibition, "do it" has become the largest collection of instructional works to date. In addition, "'do it:' the compendium" includes instructions by 250 artists including newly commissioned pieces selected by Obrist and ICI. In honor of the publication's 20th anniversary, 84 additional scores have been published.

"do it's" presentation is less concerned with notions of reproduction or materiality of the artworks. Rather, this exhibition is about revealing the nuances of human interpretation in its various iterations. Based on written instructions by renowned artists as a point of departure, UMOCA's reenactment of "do it" is uniquely site-specific to Utah through the engagement with the community and use of resources available locally.

"Many of the selected works draw on the cultural specificity of Utah as a way to ground the exhibition in themes, iconography, and places that relate to the history and geography of the Beehive State," explains Associate Curator Rebecca Maksym. "In this way, UMOCA is able to play with the generative and accumulative aspects of this ongoing presentation through its own notion of interpretation and reproduction."

Some of the 50+ do it enactments will include:

  • Louise Bourgeois: "Instruction," 2002

  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres: "Untitled," 1994

  • Allison Knowles: "Homage to Each Red Thing," 1996

  • Roman Ondak: "Untitled," 2002

  • Lygia Pape: "Good Blood," 2002

  • Lawrence Weiner: "Cat #21," 1968

    Community partners and friends of UMOCA who have participated in this exhibition include: Cactus & Tropicals, KPCW Public Broadcasting, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, and Taffy Town Gourmet Taffy.

    For more information, visit www.utahmoca.org.