So many things to do. Start a rumour; write a poem using toothpicks to form the letters; invite a stranger into your home for breakfast; use a bicycle seat to squeeze lemons; make Thai curry sauce; repent. There’s always time to repent. The list is endless, as is the Do It project, from which the above all come. Do It is an ever-growing compendium of commands and instructions now presented in a large, lively and thoughtful show at Manchester Art Gallery. These commands, by artists and for anyone to follow, invite us to join in the process of making, performing or completing an artist’s work. Exhibitions of Do It are great opportunities to have fun – and make an absolute spectacle of yourself. Since 2007, the Manchester international festival has established a focus on live art, not just as spectacle, but also in terms of participation. It has, even more crucially, encouraged crossovers. Peter Sellars’s production of Shostakovich’s 1974 Suite on Verses from Michelangelo’s Sonnets (and a Bach cantata) featured the bass-baritone Eric Owens, who spent the performance dressed as a janitor mopping the stage, when he wasn’t simulating a heart attack. Wunderkind organist Cameron Carpenter was also involved, and… Read full this story
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