Art Taaalkssss: Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Thursday 3 November 2022, 5.30 pm
Mierle Laderman Ukeles (US)

Hosted by Sandra Beate Reimann and Elise Lammer,
In collaboration with the exhibition Territories of Waste at Museum Tinguely

On site: Tower Building Auditorium D 1.04 and online via → Zoom
→ Art Taaalkssss Fall 2022

Art Taaalkssss with Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Sandra Beate Reimann and Elise Lammer, in collaboration with Museum Tinguely, November 2022, photo: Matthias Willi

In the framework of the exhibition Territories of Waste at Museum Tinguely, Art Taaalkssss presents a lecture by artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles followed by a conversation with the exhibition’s curator, Sandra Beate Reimann and Institute Art Gender Nature’s lecturer Elise Lammer.

In her seminal 1969 Manifesto for Maintenance Art, Mierle Laderman Ukeles famously stated: “I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order). I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also, (up to now separately) I ‘do’ Art. Now I will simply do these everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art.”

Challenging the oppositions between art and life, nature and culture, and public and private, the work of Mierle Laderman Ukeles concerns the everyday routines of life. Her work looks to highlight otherwise overlooked aspects of social production and questions, still very relevant today, the hierarchies of different forms of work, especially of housework and low-wage labor. Ukeles is interested in how artists could use the concept of transference to empower people to act as agents of change and stimulate positive community involvement toward ecological sustainability.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been the Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation since 1977. Her art brings to life the very essence of any urban center: waste flows, recycling, sustainability, environment, people, and ecology. She has created numerous public works that engage systems of maintenance all over the world, including work ballets in New York, Pittsburgh, France, Holland, Germany, and Japan. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, and Anonymous Was a Woman foundations. Ukeles has received honorary doctorates from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design, and Maine College of Art, Portland, ME. Her work is in the permanent collections of important museums worldwide, including Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Wadsworth Atheneum, Jewish Museum, Smith College Museum of Art, Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Lorraine, Metz, Migros Museum, Zurich.