Miere Laderman Ukeles MANIFESTO
Updated: May 31, 2022
In 1969 artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles wrote her “Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!”
In this three and a half page manifesto she distinguishes between 'Development' and 'Maintenance' noting that development is culturally valued, it is 'pure individual creation; the new; change; progress; advance...' but maintenance "...is a drag; it takes all the fucking time, literally; the mind boggles and chafes at the boredom; the culture confers lousy status and minimum wages on maintenance jobs; housewives = no pay." 1
Her practice of "Maintenance Art" throughout her career as an act of care is of particular interest to me; her maintenance art performances being a gesture of care toward maintaining both material and immaterial things, such as relationships or human dignity.
I'm drawn to the idea of my practice being values-led, led by an intention, such as being present in the world in a caring way. It makes sense to me to think of writing my own manifesto to clearly outline my itentions for my practice.
1. Her manifesto is available from the source link above and was also reprinted here: Alex Danchev, 100 Artists' Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists (UK: Penguin, 2011).