I felt like I was helping the campus by performing Maintenance Art in the area around the USU. By cleaning the NOW sculpture, it made me feel like I was help keeping the school campus clean.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles cleaning the steps of an art museum and Richard Serra flinging molten lead against the walls of an art museum different because they demonstrate different representations of art. Mierle Laderman Ukeles cleaning the steps can be seen as the “light” side of art, where it is creation. Cleaning is the creation of space since it eliminates dirt. On the other hand, Richard Serra flinging molten lead against the walls of an art museum can be seen as the “dark” side of art, where it is destruction. Destroying walls with molten lead is basically destruction to the museum. Both Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ and Richard Serra’s art are the same because they were done with a purpose in mind. Both were done with the intention of doing art. I think both are “art” because most like the artists intended for it to be, so I would like to respect their decision to think of both as art.
I think Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ Maintenance Art performance at the Wadsworth Atheneum was art because she made a whole manifesto for an art idea she had and even did the cleaning herself. The fact that her performance was at an Art Museum did not make it art. If she had simply gotten hired as a janitor at a factory somewhere and performed that job for 6 months then I wouldn’t say that it is art because as a janitor, your job is to clean. It is part of your job description to clean. An act is “art” if you intended it to be. I guess if a janitor intended their cleaning to be art, I would respect their decision to say that, but I don’t think many janitors would intend their work to be art.
I don’t think an object or an action is Art or Not Art because of some intrinsic property of the medium. I think it’s because of the intention of the person performing it. All paintings on canvas are art whether or not it’s displayed in art museums. I also think beauty is art. House painting can be art if there’s a specific design the person is intending to paint on the house, like maybe a sunset or a starry sky. I think painting on canvases are all art. It could be a stick figure on a canvas and I would still count as art if the person intended it to be.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Jennifer Lopez has made me think differently about “Women’s Work” because their work is very empowering. I thought that “Women’s Work” was just work that women did. I had never really thought about it as art. I also never really thought cleaning was an art until I learned about Maintenance Art. I think “Women’s Work” is art when the person intends it to be, as seen with Mierle Laderman Ukeles and her Maintenance Art.
I think I would get down on my hands and knees to clean Shrek’s star because I loved Shrek when I was younger. The Shrek movies were my childhood.