Red Wedding Video and Photos
For Annie & Beth by Geoffrey Hendricks*
Homily for their Red Wedding Saturday, December 18, 2004
In this “Brave New World” where so called Homeland Security is trying to rule the country through instilling fear and insecurity among the population; where claims of bringing peace and democracy are pretexts for starting wars, imposing fascism and setting up puppet governments; where a senator who will remain nameless says that the greatest threat to our security today is gay marriage; it is interesting to reflect on what security really is.
The dictionary states that the word “secure” derives from the Latin securus (safe, secure) which is from se (without) and cura (care), and it says more at IDIOT (akin to sed, se (without) sui (of oneself) and CURE cura (to cure the soul from care). With out care. Care free. Spiritual charge: care.Other words connected to “secure” are: trustworthy, dependable, assured, certain, to make fast, hold fast. Lasting possession or control of, to bring about (effect), to tie up. Berth, (the ship in the harbor).
Annie, Beth, your ship is in the harbor. What we are gathered here for is to reflect on the security that comes through love. It is about a fearless movement through life that is born from the love and trust that emerges from your union. The 19th century mystic Gurdjieff speaks of the energy of the “Third Force.” For example, when water meets a dam, electricity is generated. You, Beth and Annie, have come together and are generating a third force greater than the two parts. This is the nature of the security that emerges from love.
Annie: We met fifteen years ago. Beth was going to grad school at Rutgers. I was living here in Manhattan. She was curating an art show. So she came to my apartment to select one of my ‘tit prints’. My first impression of her was that she was this bundle of joy--and very cute. We flirted a little. But we never got together then. Twelve years later, at the encouragement of Joe Kramer, I called her up for a date. Thank Goddess, she accepted. She came to my house. One hour later we had our first kiss. It was during that first kiss that I fell in love with her. When I looked deeply into her beautiful bright eyes, I saw her wisdom, and when she pressed her body against mine, I felt her power. That began an epic love, like I have never known before. A love I’d never dreamed was even possible for me. Now we’ve been living together for over two years, which has been an absolute joy. We are so compatible, and I am so happy. Every day she inspires me, makes me laugh, and makes me feel so loved. I am honored to be hers, and want to give our relationship and collaboration my absolute all.
Beth: When I first met Annie I was struck by her sexy beauty and generosity. I had gone to her apartment to pick up a print for a show that I was co curating. It was very cold outside- and I didn’t have a proper scarf. Annie gave me a scarf that I have to this very day. When Annie moved to California I invited her to speak at UC Santa Cruz and it was exhilarating to ride down the coast and back to San Francisco with her. Later she saved me from becoming a heterosexual by calling me up for a date. We met at her home in Marin. She lived in a Tantric palace, which I really didn’t quite know how to handle but I kept my hippie wisecracks to myself. I agreed to let her read my tarot cards in her bedroom. Before I knew it I was spilling my innermost secrets to her. The only way that I could think of maintaining any privacy was to give her a kiss. Our first night together sealed my desire to hold and be held by Annie time without end.
I am deeply honored and grateful to be your beloved, and collaborator in love art. I promise to love, honor, worship, and adore you. Nourish and cherish you.For richer, for poorer. In sickness, and in health.
I vow to make you feel as safe and secure as possible. To maintain a joyous and peaceful, home with you. And give you all the space and freedom you desire.
I will kiss, cuddle, massage and pamper you. I commit to that important ‘family value’: maintaining an exciting, satisfying, meaningful sex life.
I vow to be the best collaborator, in love, and art, that I possibly can. I vow to love you with all my heart, dear Beth, forever and eternity. May the light of our love shine out into the world.
ANNIE M. SPRINKLE
I am ecstatic to celebrate you, Annie, as my true love in life and collaborator in art.
To love you in both good times and in bad
In sickness and in health
To trust, respect and cherish you
To work through our challenges
To hold you when you cry and to enjoy your happiness when you laugh
To provide you with shelter and security
But give you space when you need it
And to be your love as art collaborator for seven + seven + seven years or for as long as
we both shall live. And may the light of our love shine out into the world.
ELIZABETH M. STEPHENS
WHEN WAR BROKE OUT TWO YEARS ago we became legal domestic partners to propose love as an alternative vision to the war. Then there was the flurry of gay weddings across the country. This incited the right wing to propose an anti-gay marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was a thinly disguised and hateful proposition intended to discriminate against Americans seeking alternative family structures. We were angry and disappointed when the California Supreme Court stopped these weddings just one day before our scheduled marriage appointment at city hall.
OUR SEVEN YEARS OF LOVE AS ART piece is a satellite project to Linda Montano’s Seven Year of Living Art piece. It is intended to share our love with our friends, family and community. We see this as an opportunity to look hatred, war and discrimination in the eye and state that we will not only be married once but that we will do so again and again despite governmental prohibitions, censorship, and discrimination. Through generating and celebrating love we hope to bring about positive change.
ON AN EVEN MORE PERSONAL NOTE, both of us are excited to make a longer, and more meaningful commitment to each other. We want to explore the deepest realms of romantic, sexual and familial love that we are capable of. Also, as artists who have explored the subject of sex in depth, it seems only natural to embark upon exploring the subject of love.
EACH WEDDING (and year) will be radically different. For our first wedding we will collaborate with 60 guests, most of whom are artists of some sort. We are honored that the brilliant Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks will officiate our vows. We also hope to collaborate and spread the love with others via a live web cast. This can be viewed on our web site www.loveartlab.org.
WE ARE HONORED to have you be part of Wedding One and hope you enjoy our collaboration of love.
ELIZABETH M. STEPHENS & ANNIE M. SPRINKLE