Artist
Margaret Dragu

b. 1953, Canada
https://margaretdragu.com/

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. Her performances span relational, durational, interventionist and community-based practices.Margaret Dragu is a 2012 recipient of a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Writing
La Dragu: The Living Art of Margaret Dragu 

La Dragu: The Living Art of Margaret Dragu (2002)
Edited by Paul Couillard

Book Design: Randy Gledhill
96 pp. text, 16 pp. photos and DVD insert, 5.5 x 8 inches
Price: $22.50 (plus shipping)

DVD includes the videos Cleaning and Loving It © 2000 and More Cleaning and Loving (It) © 2001, directed by Margaret Dragu and Paul Couillard.

Articles by Glenn Alteen, Paul Couillard, Andy Fabo, Debbie O’Rourke, Sarah Sheard; chronology by Brice Canyon and story and collages by Margaret Dragu.

Margaret Dragu is a 2012 recipient of a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. 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. 

To order a copy of this publication, please contact us at info@performanceart.ca

Performance
Cleaning and Loving It by Margaret Dragu


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


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 Wall and Roll Parade—on Sunday July 16 at NOON at the Ontario Legislature in Queen’s Park. Sew, call me! Take my picture! Interview me! Your coffee cups will gleam!
~Margaret Dragu, The Cleaning Lady / July 7, 2000


Established Canadian artist and “international cleaning lady” Margaret Dragu invites Toronto audiences to participate in Cleaning and Loving (It). This performance art event 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, Cleaning and Loving (It) 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 located near Spadina Avenue and Richmond Street West. 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 favourite 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.

Parade Route (start time 12:00pm)
Beginning at Queen’s Park, south along University to Orde Street,
west along Orde to McCaul Street, south along McCaul Street to Grange Park,
west and south through Grange Park to John Street,
south along John Street to the alleyway in between Queen Street West and Richmond Street West,
west along the alleyway to Peter Street,
south along Peter Street to Richmond Street West,
and then west on Richmond Street West to Vtape located at 401 Richmond Street West building.

The parade concludes at Vtape at 1:30pm, 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 is a major influence in contemporary Canadian performance art.

Series
Canadian Performance Art Legends

Since 2000, FADO has been celebrating Canada’s senior performance artists with this multi-faceted series. Featured artists are asked to create a major new work, which is followed by a (text and video) publication documenting the artist’s history in performance. The series curator and publication editor is Paul Couillard.

Canadian Performance Art Legends has honoured:

2000
Margaret Dragu
Cleaning and Loving It (performance, 2000)
La Dragu: The Living Art of Margaret Dragu (publication, 2002)

2004
Tanya Mars
Tyranny of Bliss (performance, 2004)
From Ironic to Iconic: The Performance Work of Tanya Mars (publication, 2009)

2006
Alain-Martin Richard
The Route to Rosa (performance, 2006)
Alain-Martin Richard: Performances, Manoeuvres and Other Hypotheses for Disappearing (publication, 2014)

Series Purple

An ode to FADO's history, Series Purple is composed of a collection of purple fragrance materials dating back to the Roman Empire. Dense, intense, and meandering, this fragrance tells us non-linear stories.

Top Notes

huckleberry, violet

Middle Notes

cassis, lilac, heliotrope

Base Notes

orris root, purple sage, labdanum