2018 & 2021, public performance & video installation
Variable & 7 min each
Merchant City, Glasgow, UK & City Centre St Gallen, CH
7 Videos, 4K-Video, 19:10, 7 Hantarex, 7 min each
Camera, editing & sound: Lukas Zerbst
Being specifically interested in women’s history and domestic labour, the performance series “Cleaning Her” centres around sculptures created by female identifying women. Many public sculptures are in poor condition and in need of care. Assuming the guise of a maintenance worker, Martina Morger traced the surfaces of each sculpture in both a caring and cleansing act. Playing with the tropes of the archetypal maintenance worker’s role, which mostly occurs unnoticed by urban society, her performance draws attention to undervalued labour and forgotten objects. In this case Martina Morger cleaned Sappho, a sculpture by Adelaide Pandiani Maraini in order to shine a light on the utterly neglected sculpture. The process of the symbolic cleaning is best described as “spiritual labour” rather than “maintenance work”, as the sculptures were thereby not repaired. The tracing of the objects with the cloth is a bodily experience that goes beyond the visual. The interaction with each sculpture is individual and intimate. The time and care given deliberately to sculptures evokes an engagement with the history of the objects.
Video stills by Lukas Zerbst, photos by Wassili Widmer and Virginie Vabre