This woman sought to explore a very human subject which almost everybody must eventually take part in through out their life but in a way that goes above and beyond the reluctance which most of us have towards it. In taking the time to formulate a collection of thoughts and nuances about the act of maintenance, we are given the opportunity to see the act in a new light. A light that challenges our conventions of what art is and demands a greater appreciation for all who find themselves bearing the responsibility of caring for the things that enrich our lives.
Ukeles' maintenance is an outstanding social sculpture in that she combines two overlooked subjects: herself as a femaile artist/mother and the department of sanitation, to comment on the anonymous worker, (be it in) domestic / public space, social responsibility and ofcourse waste itself. Raising awareness for not only the causes, but also addressing it first hand by working closely with the municipality, Mierle is a pioneer in creating community-oriented projects that go beyond mere representation.
Ukeles is someone I have allows admired in my own art practice. True contribution to the reality of our world working with maintenance.