For her “Touch Sanitation Performance,” the artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, center, spent a year visiting each of the New York Department of Sanitation’s districts to shake the hand of every one of the 8,500 workers who would accept the gesture. A retrospective of her work is at the Queens Museum.
“I’m not here to watch you, to study you, to analyze you, to judge you. I’m here to be with you: all the shifts, all the seasons, to walk out the whole City with you.”
I face each worker, shake hands, and say: “Thank you for keeping NYC alive.” / Performance Duration: 11 months, at least 1 to 2 8-hour/per day work shifts. With 8,500 sanitation workers. / Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.
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