Cleaning and Loving it by Margaret Dragu

Sunday / Jul 16 / 00
12:00 pm

401 Richmond St. W., Suite 452
Margaret Dragu

Parade begins at noon, Queen's Park
Screening/Tea Party begins at 1:30 pm


FADO is pleased to invite Toronto audiences to participate in a new performance art event by senior Canadian artist and 'international cleaning lady' Margaret Dragu. CLEANING AND LOVING (IT) is a celebration of small-scale community ritual and of Dragu's long-standing love affair with cleaning and laundry. Already underway as a series of intimate cleaning performances for Toronto-based friends and colleagues of the artist, the performance goes public on Sunday July 16.

Rain or shine, join us for a warm and witty afternoon of festivities that begins with a "walk and roll" parade starting at Queen's Park at noon and wending its way down to Vtape at Spadina and Richmond. People of all ages are welcome to show up on foot, in wheelchairs, on bikes, rollerblades or other non-motorized transportation. Feel free to bring your own favorite cleaning supplies and tools (buckets, mops, brooms, rags, scrub brushes, spray bottles, etc.) as your banner of choice, and learn the simple secrets of Margaret's famous "Xs and Os" choreography.

The parade concludes at Vtape at 1:30 pm, where everyone is invited to an old-fashioned 'social' that will include screenings of cleaning and laundry sequences from Dragu's many performances, films and videotapes, plus plenty of snacks and refreshments.

Margaret Dragu is a warm-hearted, fearless and indomitable spirit who has left her mark across disciplines and across the country. Dragu's astonishing output of work spans back to 1969 and includes forays into theatre, film, video, writing, choreography and above all, performance art. She is perhaps best known for her work in the 1980s, including her long-running X's and O's series, which began with a solstice mega-spectacle in Hamilton in 1983 (X's and O's on the Longest Day of the Year) and continues with her recent "Improvisation for X's and O's". Her 1988 film project I VANT TO BE ALONE reads as a who's who of the Toronto art scene of the 1980s, while her smaller, more intimate 1990s work has been produced and seen mainly on the west coast.

Over the years Dragu has tackled various issues ranging from love to labour to death, colouring the mundane and everyday with a spirit of celebration and a touch of the fanciful. Multilayered, sexy and political, her work is firmly rooted in the lessons of the mortal body while playfully engaging with images of glamour and passion. Adept in both solo and collaborative environments, she has been a major influence in contemporary Canadian performance art.


Parade Route:

-Beginning at Queen's Park, the parade travelled south along University to Orde,
-west along Orde to McCaul, south along McCaul to Grange,
-west and south through Grange Park to John,
-south along John to the alleyway in between Queen and Richmond W.,
-west along the alleyway to Peter,
-south along Peter to Richmond W.,
-and then west on Richmond W. to Vtape (in the 401 Richmond St. W. building).


Margaret Dragu's Cleaning DO's and DON'T's

Dear Toronto,

Itz a dirty city and someone has to clean it up. After a week of private cleaning performances, I am sharing some of my CLEANING THOTS with all you Virgo wanna-bees. Andy hey, I am still available for some private cleaning performances - in your office lunchrooms before the Big Wa;l and Roll Parade - on Sunday July 16th at NOON at the Ontario Legislature in Queen's Park.

Sew, call me! Take my picture! Interview me! Your coffee cups will gleam!

La Dragu's Cleaning Oh Yes/Oh No List

GOOD: Automatic Dishwashers, Chamois & Cloth Napkins, Vinegar & Water, Saran Wrap, Some Bleach, Hot Hot Water & Soap, String Mops, Vacuum Cleaners.

BAD: Smelly wet dishrags that aren't hung out, Paper Towels & Paper Napkins (however, washing/drying and re-using is ok), Glass Cleaners in Spray Bottles (however it is are excellent for chrome), Hippie Rule of Baking Soda only is dumb, Greasy Dishwater, Sponge Mops (unless industrial), Feather dusters are stupid except for photo ops.

~Margaret Dragu, The Cleaning Lady / July 7, 2000

[ Canadian Performance Art Legends ]

+ La Dragu (2002)