Sep 24th 2019

This lecture event is free, non-ticketed and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:45 p.m.

Since 1977, Mierle Laderman Ukeles (HON 2019) has been the official, unsalaried artist-in-residence of the City of New York Department of Sanitation. Her artwork—blurring boundaries between labor and performance, system and spirit—unveils connections between feminism, work and workers, the city, and the environment. Among her key works are: Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! Proposal for an Exhibition “Care;” I Make Maintenance Art One Hour Every Day; Touch Sanitation; The Social Mirror; Ceremonial Arch Honoring Service Workers; Snow Workers’ Ballet, Echigo Tsumari; Unburning Freedom Hall; and LANDING at Freshkills Park (in process). Ukeles believes art creates freedom and asks whether we can design modes of survival—for a thriving planet, not an entropic one—that do not crush our personal and civic freedoms and silence the individual’s voice.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Re:Working Labor at SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries from September 21–November 27, curated by Daniel Eisenberg and Ellen Rothenberg, faculty research fellows at SAIC’s Institute for Curatorial Research and Practice.

Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations for this lecture event should visit

Image: Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Ceremonial Arch IV, 1988-2016, 5000 gloves, steel cages, steel rods, six columns with agency-emblematic materials. Installation view at Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art exhibition, Queen’s Museum, September 18, 2016 – February 19, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

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