In 1969, the American artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles published her “Manifesto for Maintenance Art”, a founding manifesto of feminist art, in which she defines daily care work as an artistic practice. Inspired by Laderman Ukeles’s achievements, this edition of the biennial festival “Wunder der Prärie” (Miracles of the Prairie) wishes to generate new appreciation for care work which so often goes unnoticed.
The festival organisers have invited young artists from various countries to develop artistic responses to Laderman Ukeles’s manifesto and present these in their immediate working and living environment together with local care workers. A focus of the works will be on the so-called “cleaners” who carry out essential care-related activities in digital society. These include “click workers”, for example, who scour and scrub online platforms of pornography and depictions of violence every day. In addition to current productions of international live art by such artists as Swoosh Lieu, Krõõt Juraak & Alex Bailey and Amanda Piña, the eleven-day festival will showcase the produced works in documents or livestreamed broadcasts. In this way, the festival aims to productively examine the environmental and social costs of the international art market.
Through the entire year of 2021, the organisers in collaboration with the city of Mannheim will stage a discussion series entitled CARE CITY CENTER which offers a behind-the-scenes view of the living and working life of local care workers. The showcase will also be accompanied by a diverse educational programme.
Artistic directors: Jan-Philipp Possmann, Gabriele Oßwald
Artists: Bureau Baubotanik, Olivia Hyunsin Kim, Krõõt Juurak & Alex Bailey, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Oblivia, Amanda Pina, David Weber-Krebs und Doris Uhlich