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Weddings as Art
April 16, 2013 9:12 PM   Subscribe

Weddings are inherently a form of performance art, and various artists have explored weddings as an artistic form. For example, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens held a wedding every year for 7 years to various parts of the environment and Maria Yoon held weddings in every US state to explore marriage as an Asian-American woman. Second Life also hosted a performance art wedding while Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis incorporated their House of Fairytales project into their own wedding. Kathryn Cornelius married and divorced seven suitors every hour on the hour while Chen Wei-yih opted to marry herself.
posted by divabat (25 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Adding Steven Miller's Dirt Wedding & Flat Chested Mama's Public Declaration of Commitment to my Creative Self.

This is the only kind of wedding I'm interested in!
posted by artof.mulata at 9:58 PM on April 16, 2013


"Weddings are inherently a form of performance art...."

so...THAT explains why I hate going to them....!
posted by HuronBob at 3:54 AM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wedding planning is also a lot easier if you think of them as theatre.
posted by jb at 4:34 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Street theatre. With puppets. No invitations. A collection hat. "Hi, everyone. Thanks for watching us get married. We're now going to Tahiti on all the money we could have wasted on a normal wedding. You can have the puppets. Bye!"
posted by pracowity at 5:20 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Street theatre. With puppets. No invitations. A collection hat. "Hi, everyone. Thanks for watching us get married. We're now going to Tahiti on all the money we could have wasted on a normal wedding. You can have the puppets. Bye!"

I wouldn't call my in-laws' money that I used to throw an open bar party for my friends wasted.

As always, your experience, friends, and in-laws' money may vary.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:25 AM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've long thought that my seething distaste for weddings comes from the fact that they are pure theater on the level of an episode of Hee Haw, thrown at obnoxious expense to satisfy the elder and outlying members of one's family and to check off ritual points accumulated in the lifetime indoctrination of children to believe in idiotic fairy tales.

That said, if I ever succeed in getting someone to gay marry me, we're going to the justice of the peace and then having a karaoke party at my cabin later. No gifts, no wasted money, no drunk Aunt Myrtle frenching the kids, and no goddamn garters or bouquets to toss. Mind you, I may provide a few roaming farm animals dressed in period costume for atmosphere, and only I may sing the Bacharach songs.
posted by sonascope at 5:30 AM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Where I grew up, mock wedding fundraisers were A Thing. The bride was usually a (very burly) man in drag. Kind of an amateur version of Tony n' Tina's Wedding.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:40 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


What do you get when you wed a guy?
You get a few goats in period costumes
And no drunken aunties dragging kids into cloakrooms
And I'll sing the Bacharach my-se-eh-eh-elf.
I'll sing the Bacharach myself.
posted by pracowity at 5:46 AM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Let me add that I WOULD attend, and probably even enjoy, sonascope's wedding, as long as he told a story or two.
posted by HuronBob at 5:48 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The costumed animals are just a nod to tradition, in that the previous owner of my ruinous mountain establishment was an eccentric lawyer who would throw lavish outdoor parties up there in which he'd bring in farm animals dressed as figures from American political history to spice things up.

Sometimes, you just have to yield to the old familiar ways.
posted by sonascope at 6:04 AM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: pure theater on the level of an episode of Hee Haw
posted by Foosnark at 6:16 AM on April 17, 2013


The costumed animals are just a nod to tradition, in that the previous owner of my ruinous mountain establishment was an eccentric lawyer who would throw lavish outdoor parties up there in which he'd bring in farm animals dressed as figures from American political history to spice things up.

If the rich people of America want to stave off the revolution forever, they just need to start doing more awesome shit like this. Quit spending money on fancy cars and starting throwing hilarious parties.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:29 AM on April 17, 2013


That wasn't just a movie?!
posted by mkb at 6:29 AM on April 17, 2013


Here is my favorite all-time art wedding: Tableau Vivant of The Delirium Constructions
posted by nosila at 6:30 AM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


nosila's link is NSFW. Yow.
posted by mkb at 6:46 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The costumed animals are just a nod to tradition, in that the previous owner of my ruinous mountain establishment was an eccentric lawyer who would throw lavish outdoor parties up there in which he'd bring in farm animals dressed as figures from American political history to spice things up.

Rover Cleveland?
Martin van Boaren?
Bossy Tweed?
James K. Pig-in-a-Polk?
Sonya Sowtomayor?
Mallard Fillmore?
Ruth Baaaaaaader Ginsburg?
Herbert Hooveser?
Jimmy Carthorse?
Soo-ee B. Anthony?
Ralph Neighder?
Franklin Delano Roostervelt?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:48 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I used to be a wedding officiant when I lived in Japan. We rehearsed and then did the wedding.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:56 AM on April 17, 2013


nosila's link is NSFW. Yow. Oh, good grief. Yes, very NSFW. Sorry about that!
posted by nosila at 7:00 AM on April 17, 2013


Happily, I got to do sound/art/performance at Annie Sprinkle and Elizabath Stephens White Wedding To The Snow. It was an amazing experience, and the only time I ever wore my wedding dress again.

And in the preparation phase, having Annie Sprinkle come over to your house and pose with your kitty? Priceless.
posted by Theta States at 8:34 AM on April 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think that first link is confusing performance art with ritual.
posted by asnider at 8:52 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


asnider: as someone who does performance art myself (and is currently studying for an MFA), I felt they were right on the money with their comparison. Also, performance art and ritual aren't that different from each other - we've been doing a lot of discussion and study on art as ritual and ritual as art.
posted by divabat at 9:23 AM on April 17, 2013



Sometimes, you just have to yield to the old familiar ways.

The Old ways and the Old Traditions and the Old Gods.
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 AM on April 17, 2013


Timely post for me! My wedding is in...less than a month, oh my god. Never thought of it as a performance but that's an excellent description--wedding planning has been essentially the massive task of making props, deciding on costumes, gathering the audience, and working out the lines. Maybe keeping the "performance" idea in mind will help with the nervousness...
posted by Baethan at 7:18 PM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Baethan: Never thought of it as a performance but that's an excellent description--wedding planning has been essentially the massive task of making props, deciding on costumes, gathering the audience, and working out the lines.
OMG. Just realized the Best Man is the Groom's understudy, supposedly prepared to step in if he doesn't show to fulfill his contractual obligations (the wedding bans).
posted by IAmBroom at 1:31 PM on April 18, 2013


Baethan - thinking of a wedding as a performance can also make it more enjoyable for your guests. We planned out blocking, for example, so that the ceremony wasn't too static.

but we did mess up by not having a proper tech rehearsal; our sound levels were off.

/two drama nerds getting married
posted by jb at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


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