• Jo Dyer

Miere Laderman Ukeles MANIFESTO

image source: https://queensmuseum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Ukeles-Manifesto-for-Maintenance-Art-1969.pdf

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."

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.

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