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Follow in the footsteps of Yoko Ono and Gilbert and George on The Space


Digital arts service, The Space is inviting the public to take part in a succession of artistic calls to action and contribute to do it 20 13, a participative project which celebrates its 20th anniversary at this year’s Manchester International Festival. do it 20 13 consists of a growing series of written artists’ instructions, each of which is interpreted anew every time it is enacted.

As part of the do it 20 13 project, The Space will publish an exclusive short film featuring curator Hans Ulrich Obrist explaining what the project is and how it came about. There is also an interview with Peter Saville, who has designed the exhibition where the public creates art in response to instructions from artists ranging from Andreas Slominski to Louise Bourgeois, and with artist Richard Wentworth who has made a specially designed viewing platform at Manchester Art Gallery. The Space will feature eight films by major artists who have already contributed sets of instructions to do it, including Yoko Ono on ‘Wish Piece’ and the subversively dogmatic ‘Ten Commandments for Gilbert and George’ by graphic art duo Gilbert & George, which includes instructions like ‘Thou shalt fight conformism’ and ‘Thou shalt make use of sex’. To find out more visit:

Throughout July, the public are encouraged to follow The Space on Facebook and Twitter where 20 easy to follow, step-by-step artistic instructions will be unveiled daily. From Trisha Donnelly’s instruction to ‘Find a Russian’, Tacita Dean’s call to find a four leaf clover on a sunny day and Amalia Pica’s invitation to throw a confetti-filled party, Manchester Art Gallery is encouraging everyone to upload their response to the instructions. A selection of the best contributions will feature as works of art on The Space throughout July.

During Friday 12th July, The Space will stream live from Manchester Arts Gallery. Across the day, artists will respond to instructions from deceased artists who have influenced their practice. Artist Suzanne Lacy will turn what is perceived to be a menial task into a performance which raises awareness around low paid workers; and a vulture will sweep across Manchester Art Gallery’s exhibition space as part of an interpretation by Colombian artist Maria José Arjona.

do it was conceived in 1993 when Hans Ulrich Obrist teamed up with artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier to create a series of instructions with contributions by well-known figures in contemporary art, including Yoko Ono and Gilbert and George - as a means of stretching conceptions of what art is, who should enact it, and how. Over the twenty years that followed, manifestations of the project presented in exhibitions around the world, from underground galleries to the most prestigious museums, designed for anyone to follow as a type of DIY toolkit for creating boundary-expanding art. do it is an exhibition conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organised by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York.
do it 20 13 comes to Manchester Art Gallery as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival and will run until 22 September.

Notes to Editors:

The Space

The Space is a digital arts service, developed by Arts Council England in partnership with the BBC, designed to change the way people can connect with and experience the arts. It provides live, free and on demand access to the work of the UK’s greatest artists and arts organisations.

Piloted from May 2012 until March 2013, The Space service was designed to build the digital skills of the arts and cultural sector, support creativity and experimentation and connect arts organisations with a wider audience. Arts Council England and the BBC are continuing to work in partnership to capture all the good practice and learning from The Space pilot to improve, develop and shape a future service. During this development phase, The Space will occasionally publish work from an arts organisation that enables it to test technical and creative concepts. The Space is available globally free of charge via the internet, on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected TV (Freeview and Freesat).

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


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