Architecture is almost always presented in the media as clean, immaculately pristine, and devoid even of the users that might contaminate the perfected images. Even the angles of the images crop whatever didn't work out and we are led to believe that the building is exactly what the architect and the client wanted. The films being reviewed here go behind that image by looking at the hidden rituals of cleaning and maintenance. In the first case, a 1973 television documentary by the Street Farmers (a group of architects coming out of the AA in London) on the Eco-House, the architect is the prime user who becomes a maintenance worker who is finally intellectually and biologically inseparable from the house being maintained. In the second case, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoîne's series of films on contemporary iconic buildings, the cleaners become the...

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