Mierle Laderman Ukeles

‘In I Make Maintenance Art One Hour Every Day (1976), Ukeles shifted her emphasis from the personal or individual scale to that of a large-scale system. For two months, she worked as part of a sanitation bureaucracy, cleaning floors and elevators in a lower-Manhattan office building along with 300 janitors and “cleaning women” during regular shifts. Her recent large-scale performance, Touch Sanitation, completed June 1980, involved more than 8,500 workers in the New York City Department of Sanitation. The performance itself lasted for a duration of eleven months. Her intention was “to face and shake hands” with each one of the 8,500 sanitation works while saying the words: “Thank you for keeping New York City alive.”

read more about her here

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