Maintenance Required

Maintenance is crucial for the continuation of our physical infrastructure, our society, and our lives. The often repetitive and mundane work of maintenance sustains people, objects, and institutions, and supports our constant struggle against entropy and decay.

Art Exhibition previously on at Whitney Museum of American Art in United States.
From Thursday 30 May 2013 to Thursday 20 June 2013

Maintenance Required image

Published by anonymous on Sunday 02 June 2013.
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Ubiquitous but unseen and undervalued, maintenance comprises the essential systems of support such as healthcare, trash collection and disposal, data exchange and storage, financial infrastructures, and domestic cleaning. These vital systems and activities clear the ground for all other forms of work.

Investigating the diversity of maintenance tasks, Maintenance Required examines the large-scale systems that construct our daily lives. Durational by nature, maintenance networks provide life-perpetuating mechanisms of care; yet these systems can also invisibly direct or limit life’s possibilities, or even become malevolent systems of control. By overcoming our collective blindness toward maintenance activities, we can begin to examine how they condition our lives. Bringing maintenance into view exposes a constantly shifting set of social, political, and affective relations and invites questions about what needs to be maintained and under what conditions that maintenance occurs.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s “Manifesto for Maintenance Art" (1969), in which the artist redefines maintenance activities as art, provides an entry point to the exhibition. Maintenance Required then focuses on artistic practices that frame and critically engage these often invisible systems of life support. Many of these practices articulate the paradoxical tensions of large-scale systems of maintenance whose power to sustain life may run parallel to the power to constrain it.

From May 30 through June 22, 2013, the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program presents its annual spring exhibition at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, New York.

This year’s exhibition, Maintenance Required, is curated by the ISP’s Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellows: Nina Horisaki-Christens, Andrea Neustein, Victoria Rogers, and Jason Waite. The exhibition features works by Michael Bramwell, Goldin+Senneby, Ashley Hunt, Masaru Iwai, Yve Laris Cohen, Sam Lewitt, Park McArthur, Salvage Art Institute, Karin Sander, Taryn Simon, Pilvi Takala, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. The exhibition hours are Tuesday–Friday, 12–6 pm; Saturday 11–6 pm. Admission is free.

Opening Reception
Thursday, May 30
5–8 pm
The Kitchen
512 West 19th Street