Today (13 May 2020) Kaldor Public Art Project launches its first initiative that will take place wholly within the digital sphere. Project 36 invites 15 Australian artists, and audiences everywhere, to just do it.
Titled do it (australia), Project 36 is the result of a global partnership between Kaldor Public Art Projects; Serpentine Galleries, London; Independent Curators International; and Google Arts & Culture.
This iteration of do it is part of a longstanding project which was started in 1993 by Hans Ulrich Obrist (curator, and artistic director at Serpentine Galleries) and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier. The project comprises a set of written instructions, supplied by artists. Audiences are then invited to do it, by following the instructions and documenting the results.
To date more than 400 sets of artists’ instructions, and the resulting works, have been shown in more than 150 art spaces around the world. And the project includes instructions by artists as varied as Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono, and Ai Weiwei.
The 15 Australian creatives commissioned to supply instructions for do it (australia), which will be posted on a dedicated webpage and on Instagram, are: Rafael Bonachela, Lauren Brincat, Megan Cope, Brian Fuata, Dale Harding, Saskia Havekes, Amrita Hepi, Jonathan Jones, Janet Laurence, Ian Milliss, Glenn Murcutt, Tracey Moffatt, nova Milne, Khaled Sabsabi and Latai Taumoepeau.
A new suite of instructions will be posted each week, over the course of three weeks.
Lauren Brincat has been working with written instructions, as part of the performance component of her multi-disciplinary practice, for a long time. So when she was asked to participate in do it (australia) she said, “I already have a handful!”
Without revealing exactly what she is offering, Brincat describes her instructions for Project 36 as “a recipe piece” and explains that it’s a family ritual. “It’s something we do in the kitchen: an intimate gesture, a very simple instruction that is part of the process of getting food ready.”
While Brincat isn’t entirely sure about the origins of this family tradition, she is very pleased to be able to make it available to others. “I’m kind of excited to be able to share this strange ritual that my family has always done,” she says.
Janet Laurence says that she developed her set of instructions specifically for do it (australia), and the context of the current coronavirus pandemic.“I like the fact that the project is international,” she explains, “because this is a very global moment.”
Like Brincat, she was unable to give away the precise details of her instructions, but she did say that it is about “being in touch with the plant world” and engaging with plants as a two-way conversation.
For Laurence, who is known for her sculptural work that draws attention to environmental issues, it is very important that her instructions aren’t flippant. “I want to genuinely address something that is really important,” she says. “It’s a sincere instruction.”
Audience responses to all the artists’ instructions will be gathered, collated and shared by Kaldor Public Art Projects. And the Google Arts & Culture platform will present a selection of 50 commissions from the collaborating global partners. Do it (australia) is co-curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and John Kaldor, supported by Emily Sullivan (curator) and Monique Leslie Watkins.