Whoa, the details. This is harkening back to CoTour 08 where every detail had 100 details to it. Both Tif and I are on the computer too much for our own good these days, but its rewarding as all the artists bios and images, the research, the marriage poll, and all the aspects of the website we're building are solidifying the whole picture-ness of this project. One more month to get it all sorted, as well as organizing a three-day show at The Company (gallery in Chinatown), a collaboration between me and Abel Baker Gutierrez which takes place on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of October.
Its a little nerve wracking to have put this brave undertaking into the hands of the universe, but it feels good too. The Ad has been sent to Artforum and will hit the stands on October 1st, thereabouts. The mystery couple will hopefully connect with the deeply good intentions of this project and have faith that HubbyCo, and all our collaborators will see to it that this wedding experience is meaningful and dynamic beyond imagining. Knight Landesman at Artforum, where I worked as the receptionist and then circulation director so many years ago, has given us a glorious discount on the ad, and has faith in our project. The artists are sending in good information and ideas, and its gradual (strong and sure) info and image gathering is a sight for sore eyes.
Xochitl and Mabell’s home itself was a testament to the strength of their relationship and includes a shrine they activate consistently as a reminder to their commitment. They were incredibly forthcoming about the challenges and victories of being a lesbian couple; they got married during that brief window in California when it was appropriately legal. Their cats were running and playing around in their abundant garden as we talked. Since the video was made, one of their cats passed away, so for them the video is a lasting portrait of not only their love for each other but as a monument of the love they had for their cat as well.
“I’m the first woman in my generation whose gotten married who wasn’t pregnant, who wasn’t being forced to get married...and that’s kind of a big deal - its a really big Mexican family and a lot of my cousins are already married. When I told my Grandma I was getting married, I said the bad news is I’m marrying a woman. The good news is that she’s amazing, and she’s a doctor, and I’m in love, AND I’m not pregnant. She didn’t quite see the humor, but I did.” ~ Xochitle
“I am willing to suffer heartbreak...heartache and sadness in order to have the happiness and the passion and the ecstacy that I also feel. So, you kind of have to ask yourself, are you prepared for that, before you get married, and I am. I think you have a choice...that’s the 21st century twist...and I chose to marry for true love.” ~MaBell
All the artist's have committed to the project, the advertisement has been scrutinized, to say the least, and is off to ARTFORUM. Mike Slack, the artist and the designer of the Ad, must be relieved knowing I can't send revisions and/or semantic queries any longer. Now its time to buckle into the month to make ready for when the magazine hits the stands on Oct. 1st or thereabouts. I want to make sure that every question anyone could possible have is answered before anyone asks, as much as this is possible. My virtual and physical bulletin boards are cramping with overuse.
Its a little nerve wracking to have put this undertaking into the hands of the universe, but its the kind of butterflied stomach I can handle and is normal for all artistic undertakings - the hope that what you create will be received well, will work. I hope an eventual couple will connect with the deeply good intentions of this project and have faith that HubbyCo’s collaborators will see to it that this wedding experience is meaningful and dynamic. Knight Landesman at ARTFORUM, where I worked as the receptionist and then Circulation Director so many years ago, has given us a generous discount on the ad, and has an encouraging enthusiasm for our project. The artists are sending in good information and ideas, and a gradual strong but sure info/image gathering is building my steam.
We started putting these ads up on telephone poles around the city in art-centric locales and our website is being tapped into now, as evident by its virtual attendance scorekeeper.
Tim and David are involved in a deeper familial relationship with each other than any romance they've ever had, but a deep commitment nonetheless. Neither of them have been in a long lasting partnership/romance. This is why they wanted to be interviewed together.
Here are excerpts of lyrics to the song they chose to represent their relationship, which is especially pogniant knowing the struggles they’ve been through as brothers/friends:
'For the Life That Will Be'
...If we remain together in our diversity - Together we can discover our unity - If we can put ourselves together we'll have continuity... If we stay together it will be a miracle - If we stay together we will be a family...We will stay together if we understand each other- If we pardon each other, what mistakes can we make? ...To the life that will be. For the life that will be - You will never be alone, I will never be alone, we will never be alone.
“What would interest me in marriage would be a commitment with a legal aspect. If I fall in love with someone from another county they should be able to become a citizen; it should include financial benefits, insurance, as well as the way you’re perceived in the world. I completely think that men should have the option to get married.” ~Tim
“In general it can be very difficult for two men to be together and to relinquish power in order to cooperate. The interesting difference between gay couples and straight couples that I’ve seen is that straight couples have this notion of romance - there’s already this road and this format and framing that’s already put up, whereas gay men don’t have that template in front of them, so they’re forced to find a way that works for them.
I don’t know if I’d want to have approbation from a society that has a really rigid notion of what coupledom is. I want approbation from the people I respect in the world I live in. They would be the people at any ceremony I’d do. I like the idea that it should be legal. We do live in a world where if your lover dies, you can’t go to the hospital and their family takes everything he owned from you - that is so horrific.”~ David
Orson Welles' audacious biography of newspaper baron Charles Foster Kane, which, in essence, was a thinly veiled portrait of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Welles's complex and technically stunning film chronicles Kane's rise from poverty to become one of America's most influential men -- and it's considered one of the best movies ever made. Notable to this topic is the famous 'breakfast' montage scene succinctly illustrating the disintegration of Kane's marriage in a brief time. 1941
Life is Sweet - Mike Leigh, 1991. The plot is simple enough. A couple of days in the life of a working class London family. A couple of fairly deep issues are dealt with, such as eating disorders and depression, but other than a few moments, all we are doing is watching a family live their life: a strong hard-working mother; a weaker easily-led by his mates father; and their twin daughters: Natalie - resourceful and kind-hearted but with a strange tendency to wear men's shirts and down pints - and Nicola - screwed up, rude, irrational and painfully insecure in both her looks and her intelligence. Notable to this topic is the resounding sweetness between husband and wife, at the end of the day - there is love there.
Jon has taken portraits of couples in his circle of LA acquaintances and friends. He was struck by the uncanny pairings that have arisen and shifted amongst these people over time within this strong-knit group and so made the photographs on wood with holes in the top so that they hang on pegs next to each other, and are easy to take down and switch. Many partners have literally switched partners over time and many have remained friends. Jon is such a well-spoken succinct thinker, and though this undertaking may on first view seem like a cynical view of marriage, he is a romantic at heart.
“For years I’ve asked people, just randomly out of curiousity, why get married, why not just live together with the person you’re with. What’s beyond just being in a relationship that you get from this?...and the woman that I work with had the best answer, that you sort of make an agreement to go beyond whatever the normal problems you would have when you’d have split up with someone...whatever that is that’s gone wrong, that you would go a step further, or the ten steps you’d have to go through in order to stay together...”
“The whole idea of marriage is really antiquated to me. I think that’s why I interviewed people for years, why I still do it. I think more people get married than should because they feel its an obligation or almost an acquisition - tthey still think that even though they may be modern in their other ways of thinking, they’re very old fashioed in this idea about being married. I think it is outmoded and even though it is a nice idea, it needs to be upmoded.”
Here are a few couples he photographed (and not all of them are still together):
- Project Home
- Video Interviews
- Bec and Ruben
- Classified Ad
- Skip Arnold
- Barbara Bestor
- The trio, 'The Boyfriend,' Chris Kuhrt, Stephen Schilling & Mark Simon
- Joshua Callaghan
- Cal Clements
- Gerald Davis
- Abel Baker Gutierrez
- Roger Herman
- Bettina Hubby
- Samo Hurt (AKA David G.A. Stephenson) - ballad for Bec and Ruben
- Tyler Hubby
- Christopher James
- David Jones & Kelly Marie Martin
- Kahn & Selesnick
- Daveed Kapoor and Alison Kudlow -Yichud
- Kate Mayfield & Ade Ratna
- Karen Lofgren
- Miguel Nelson
- Michele O'Marah
- Terri Phillips
- Olivia Primé
- Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
- Ed Ruscha
- Tif Sigfrids
- Mike Slack
- Joe Sola
- George Stoll
- William Stone
- Marriage Poll
- Other Marriage Art
- Why are we doing this?
- About Hubby
- Thank yous