During global lockdown, do it (australia) invites audiences to follow an artist’s instructions, enter their world and realise an artwork of their own…
On the 13th May, Kaldor Public Art Projects launched its 36th project since the Sydney-based contemporary arts organisation opened its doors in 1969, titled do it (australia). In partnership with London’s Serpentine Galleries, Independent Curators International and Google Arts & Culture, collectively the global partners will premiere 50 new artworks designed to inspire creativity during isolation periods.
do it (australia) invites artists to create simple instructions that generate an artwork from the audience, whether an object, a performance, an intervention, or something else entirely.
Kaldor Public Art Projects commissioned 18 Australian artists including visual artists and key creative figures from other disciplines, among them indie singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin, acclaimed author Gerald Murnane, florist Saskia Havekes, Sydney Dance Company Director Rafael Bonachela and TEDxSydney 2016 performer, Indigenous dancer, writer and activist Amrita Hepi.
The result is an eclectic mix of ideas that range from the active to the absurd and the philosophical with the instructions and audience responses collated and shared on Kaldor’s dedicated webpage and Instagram showcasing Australians’ creative interpretations of the instructions.
Launched during Australia’s COVID-19 lockdown, do it (Australia) is Kaldor Public Art Projects’ first digital project and is designed to respond to the spatial isolation necessitated by the pandemic. do it encourages activities away from the screen, inviting audiences to respond to the artist’s call, follow their lead, enter their world and realise an artwork on their behalf.
Ph: Louis Lim
Ph: Janet Laurence
Part of the impetus for the project was the ability to award commissions to artists in a time where many Australian artists had lost employment or opportunities due to coronavirus.
Project 36 forms part of the do it series, an international initiative started by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 1993 (curator, and artistic director at Serpentine Galleries in London) in collaboration with artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier.
To date, over 400 sets of artists’ instructions and the resulting works have been presented in more than 150 art spaces in over 15 countries – making it the widest-reaching and longest-running ‘exhibition in progress’ ever shown. Artists who have taken part include Ai Weiwei, Yoko Ono, Louise Bourgeois, Adrian Piper, Tracey Emin and Richard Wentworth.
Kaldor Public Art Projects Director John Kaldor AO said: “Hans Ulrich Obrist and I have known each other for many years and we are delighted to be working with him again on this global project. It is our hope that this 36th Project helps bring creativity to Australians at home and showcases Australian artists internationally.”
The team at Kaldor Public Art Projects have been delighted by the breadth of creative responses building up under the #doitaustralia hashtag. From a ghostly email performance inspired by Brian Fuata’s instruction, to a water story inspired by Dale Harding and a collection of nature circles responding to Saskia Havekes, “we’re captivated by the possibilities of artists’ instructions and the creativity of those doing it from home.”
So, do you want to do it, too? You can visit the webpage for full instructions and Kaldor Public Art Projects will be collecting responses until June 30th.
Ph: Romello Pereria
Ph: Pedro Greig