A Thank You Note to the Cleaning Lady, installation, 2016, photo: Peter Škrlep
The exhibition A Thank You Note to the Cleaning Lady was born as a product of broken antagonism between being a parent and an artist and of cooperation between the two roles. Parenting is often seen as a danger to creativity and to an ambitious career. Resisting this view, Vera Stanković creates images born from the everyday life of parenting.
The ready-made installation A Thank You Note to the Cleaning Lady lent its name to the exhibition. Arranging colorful cleaning utensils (sponge cloths) on the floor, the artist formed an image of a rainbow. The use of a visual cliché is intentional. Making an installation from banal objects (sponge cloths) and arranging them in a banal image (rainbow) she questions the relation between reproductive, maintenance work and having greater purpose, achieving one’s life dreams. The name leads us to believe the work is intended as a message to the Cleaning Lady. But who is she? Though the work itself does not reveal her identity, one might think of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the author of the Manifesto for Maintenance Art.