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MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES / #1. page 4

counts, where that idea of equality of place, and freedom of place INSIDE society-- not having it necessary to have artists as culture-outlaws in order to show us the definitions of freedom, but creators of working visions of the whole city, where everybody counts. Is that possible? Is there enough room in here? That's my work, to make the investigation knowable, seen, heard, felt, and to continue to ask the questions about what's necessary and what's free.

My accomplishments, thus far, have been in the following areas: (1) Transforming the definition of the creating artist to include that of nurturer, so as to include whole classes of society, of both sexes, as nurturing creators; (2) creating a feminist image of woman moving freely through all places and layers of society with woman as stand-in for "formerly-powerless"; (3)making a dramatic impact on the self-perception of sanitation workers in a real work system; (4) changing how society sees the value of service workers and thinks creatively about the quality of work-life; (5) causing a major leap forward in the inter-penetration of art into life--not life abstracted from a distance--but where the artist moves out/into tough kinds of working life, makes a living picture at full scale in real time and brings the possibility for social vision-making with her.

As Carrie Rickey said in the Village Voice during the TOUCH SANITATION PERFORMANCE: "She is a social scientist on the order of Jacob Riis. The people she engages in her work are those for whom museums mean very little; Ukeles believes it's time for the artist to go to the public" (11/19/79) Or, as Wm. Zimmer said in the late Soho News: "Needed, an artist of large vision like Ukeles in every sector in the public life.: (8/27/80). "A myth before my very eyes": a sanman's statement reported by Grace Glueck in the NYTimes (8/10/79).

Perhaps two statements by sanitation workers made during the performance sum up my accomplishment best: "'I thought it was dumb--at first,' said (sanman) Louis Mandalino, 42. 'Shaking hands. It sounded dumb, you know? And then I'm out working one night. It's freezing, you know. My hand is sticking to the garbage can. I lost my glove. And along comes this pretty little [I'm 5'10"!] girl. And she doesn't just shake my hand and run back into the car. She stays with us for an hour [multiply that by 11 months]. Up one street and down the next. And she listens. You gotta love somebody like that.'" [Ken Gross, last of 3 articles written throughout the performance in NEWSDAY, 6/27/80]. Or, this second one, quoted in Lucy Lippard's "Issue" show, in London, catalog; from a Brooklyn sanman, halfway through the performance, in February, 1980: He told me: "17 years ago, it was very hot. We stopped for break and sat down on some lady's porch steps. The lady came out of her house and said: 'Get away from here you smelly garbagemen. I don't want you smelling up my porch.' He continued: That stuck in my throat for all these 17 years. Today you wipe that out! Will you remember that?"

To transform the question, "Will you remember that?" into a form that is understandable and palpable and memorable to the public--for whom it was always intended-- to put that question "in its place", is my goal in my proposed project: TOUCH SANITATION SHOW.

A list of fellowships, grants, awards, and honors follows.  
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