Cleaning Conditions

Caution, Cleaning in Progress sign
Caution, Cleaning in Progress sign
Friday 12 July 2013
12.00pm - 1.00pm

A performance by Suzanne Lacy for the Do It Exhibition. Join us for conversations with invited speakers around current issues connected to Manchester including low page, minimum and Living Wage debates, women's relationships to work, migrant workers and sweeping.

Sweeping the dust from the floor of a room,

spreading the dust in another room

so it won’t be noticed.

Continuing daily

                                           Allan Kaprow, 1995

Suzanne Lacy is responding to this instruction by the artist Allan Kaprow (1927-2006) Kaprow's work explored how art and life could converge through performance pieces, using everyday objects and familiar actions. 

The current performance -  Cleaning Conditions -  takes cleaners and the act sweeping as it’s starting point. Lacy is interpreting Kaprow’s instruction through the lenses of gender and activism, provocatively framing the instruction in terms of the social and political climate in Manchester. Conversations on immigration, class and the struggle for global equity will be framed within a context of current issues in women’s role in the care and service industries and the corporatisation of such labour.

 This is part of Do it an exhibition of artist’s instructions.

During Manchester International Festival Suzanne plans three actions.


For eight days nine rooms in the gallery will be swept by people who are not the cleaners of the gallery. 

Public conversations

Simultaneously the public is invited to participate in conversations led by a cross section of workers, including local activists and scholars, convened in front of the Ford Maddox Brown painting “Work” (1852-1863) in the Pre-Raphaelite gallery.

Private conversations

Throughout the festival staff members from Manchester Art Gallery will gather in cross-sector meetings to privately consider their complex personal relationships to the global gendering of care and service.

Performance Dates

Thurs 4 July 12 -1pm

Fri 5 July     12 -1pm

Sat 6 July     3 -4pm

Sun 7 July    3 -4pm

Thurs 11 July  12-1pm

Fri 12 July   12 -1pm

Sat 13 July  4 - 5pm

Sun 14 July    3 -4pm

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