On a night threatened with storms and overscheduled with art fair parties, the Pan-American art world elite gathered in the cavernous Moynihan Station, the old post office in midtown Manhattan, to raise money for the Tate Americas Foundation. Celebrating over 30 contemporary artists from the Western Hemisphere with its third triennial artists dinner, the event drew a cast of collectors, patrons, artists and movie stars from North and South America.
Was 1993 a moment? The question structured last Saturday's conversation between curators Massimiliano Gioni and Hans Ulrich Obrist, moderated by Kate Fowle, curator at Moscow's Garage Center for Contemporary Culture. Obrist's ongoing project, "do it," begun during the year in question over casual conversation in a Montparnasse café, was the occasion for the exchange, held in the basement auditorium of New York's New Museum. An offhand comment by Richard Hamilton ("We mainly remember exhibitions that invent new rules of the game") motivated Obrist and two artist friends, Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier, to rethink a format vitiated by two-plus decades of institutional critique. The result is an accumulating compendium of DIY instructions, each penned by an artist, which exists as an exhibition with or without a venue to house it. To date, nearly 400 artists have authored instructions that have been enacted in some four dozen institutions worldwide.