Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! Proposal for an exhibition "CARE"

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Author: Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Date: Oct. 2018
From: Journal of Contemporary Painting(Vol. 4, Issue 2)
Publisher: Intellect Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 983 words

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Proposal for an exhibition "CARE"

Mierle Laderman Ukeles

[c] 1969


A. The Death Instinct and the Life Instinct;

The Death Instinct; separation: individuality: Avant-Garde par excellence; to follow one's own path to death--do your own things dynamic change.

The Life Instinct: unification; the eternal return; the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species; survival systems and operations; equilibrium.

B. Two basic systems: Development and Maintenance. The sourball of every revolution: after the revolution, who's going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?

Development: pure individual creation; the new; change; progress: advance; excitement; flight or fleeing.

Maintenance; keep the dust off the pure individual creation; preserve the new; sustain the change; protect progress; defend and prolong the advance; renew the excitement; repeat the flight;

show your work--show it again keep the contemporaryartmuseum groovy keep the home fires burning

Development systems are partial feedback systems with major room for change.

Maintenance systems are direct feedback systems with little room for alteration.

C. Maintenance is a drag; it takes all the fucking time (lit.) The mind boggles and chafes at the boredom. The culture confers lousy status on maintenance jobs = minimum wages, housewives = no pay.

clean you desk, wash the dishes, clean the floor, wash your clothes, wash your toes, change the baby's diaper, finish the report, correct the typos, mend the fence, keep the customer happy, throw out the stinking garbage, watch out don't put things in your nose, what shall...

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Source Citation
Ukeles, Mierle Laderman. "Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! Proposal for an exhibition 'CARE'." Journal of Contemporary Painting, vol. 4, no. 2, 2018, p. 233+. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A533005114