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Posted: 6/14/2009 8:57:29 AM EST
The Art Guys’ big fat not-so-gay wedding (Two men marrying a tree)
Houston Chronicle ^ | June 14, 2009 | Douglas Britt

As more and more gay couples are doing these days, Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing will don tuxes on Saturday and walk down a wedding aisle to say their vows.

But what will distinguish their marriage from ones happening in Iowa and most New England states isn’t just the fact that it will have no legal standing in Texas, which confers none of the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, even if they’ve been together as long as Galbreth and Massing, who celebrated their 25th anniversary last year.

Or the likelihood that their wives will attend the ceremony in the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

It’s the fact that their wedding isn’t to each other. It’s to a live oak sapling.

Welcome to The Art Guys Marry a Plant, the latest performance — or as they prefer to call it, the latest “behavior” work — by the Houston conceptual duo. And it has nothing to do with the country’s hottest civil rights issue, they say, although they both support the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“I don’t even care about that,” says Galbreth of the gay-marriage issue. “It doesn’t even warrant discussion. I’m happy that the issue is out there because it helps promotes us, in a crude sense, when the people mistakenly think that it’s a political gesture, which to my mind, it’s not.”

Marketing is part and parcel of the Art Guys’ collaborative persona. For their 1998-1999 project SUITS: The Clothes Make the Man, they sold ad space on Todd Oldham-designed suits and wore them for a year around the country. Another piece, Forever Yours, hasn’t been realized yet because it involves selling their cremated remains for $1 million, and a buyer willing to pony up that kind of cash has yet to emerge. They’re also at work on selling the rights to the Art Guys brand.

In that sense it’s unsurprising that the Art Guys would, as Galbreth puts it, use the issue as “a mechanism for us to crudely piggyback on.” But it’s curious that artists who pride themselves on their follow-through would settle for piggybacking rather than going whole-hog.

Not that they see it that way.

“This is an actual wedding,” Galbreth insists. “This is not a pretend wedding. When the Art Guys do things, it’s the real thing.”

Usually, that’s true. For the 1994 behavior work Bucket Feet, the Art Guys really did walk 10 miles through downtown with buckets of water attached to their feet. For Blow Through Town (1995), they actually took to the streets with leaf blowers, blowing piles of debris across a 15-mile stretch of the city. And they’ve vowed that their wives won’t get to keep so much as a teaspoon of their ashes if Forever Yours sells.

For their big fat not-so-gay wedding, the Art Guys are playing it straight. The vows and format will be as traditional as possible. An ordained minister will officiate, and he’ll only address the Art Guys, because trees can’t talk and the Lorax hasn’t been invited. After all, one “fairly simple read(ing)” of the piece that Massing suggests is that it’s “an acknowledgement of man’s existence and how it bumps up and interacts with nature.”

But there won’t be a marriage license, because the Texas constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2005, leaves no wiggle room for quirky exceptions, spelling out that marriage “shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

As for the sapling, it’s not moving in with either of the Art Guys, who plan to plant it in a location to be determined — Massing says he thinks somewhere “deep in the woods” might be the best place — with or without a commemorative ceremony and plaque.

Press releases notwithstanding, this “behavior” doesn’t blur the boundary between art and life. It draws a bright, bold outline between art and Galbreth’s and Massing’s lives, at any rate. The same federal government that recognizes the Art Guys’ trademark also recognizes their real-life marriages to women.

But when it comes to the boundary between this artwork and the lives of gay and lesbian couples — even those in states where gay marriage is legal — the piece blurs it much more effectively. As far as Uncle Sam is concerned, their unions have no more legal standing than the Art Guys’ marriage to a tree. Of course, it also inadvertently reinforces the “slippery slope” argument that if we let gays wed, next we’ll allow people to marry animals, and so on.

Normally I don’t critique performances before they occur, but given the nature of this one, I’m speaking now so I don’t have to forever hold my peace.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:01:31 AM EST
WTF?

All I can really say to that at the moment.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:05:10 AM EST
*Sigh* Again, and eternally, LINK, PLEASE!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:05:18 AM EST
Freaks.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:06:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By DaGrandPoobah:
*Sigh* Again, and eternally, LINK, PLEASE!!!!!!!!


The article name and source is at the top of the article. If you want to read it there, go to the page.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:07:39 AM EST
Well, they certainly aren't helping the case for gay marriage.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:08:08 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:08:53 AM EST
Splinters may put a damper on their enthusiasm.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:08:53 AM EST
In before tacticalmolonlabe defending gays rights to marry trees.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:09:32 AM EST
Does anybody do real work anymore?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:09:36 AM EST
Only in Texas...
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:10:28 AM EST

They were born tree fuckers.

Anyone who says different is a bigot.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:10:54 AM EST
What pisses me off about the article is that it is factually incorrect. In TX, a gay couple can have the same rights as a hetero couple by use of a Civil Union. I read similar stuff from other states and I don't comment b/c I don't know if that state has civil unions or not. I do know that TX does. That columnist is either stupid, or a fucking liar.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:12:08 AM EST
The article mentioned the 2 guys have wives, so why does the thread title say 2 homos? Am I missing something?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:12:49 AM EST
They've got WOOD!







(sorry, had too)
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:13:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By TinyBalls:

They were born tree fuckers.

Anyone who says different is a bigot.





Tinyballs hit it on the head.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:13:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By Nlinc:
The article mentioned the 2 guys have wives, so why does the thread title say 2 homos? Am I missing something?


Proper adjective for Texans?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:14:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By TinyBalls:

They were born tree fuckers.

Anyone who says different is a bigot.


Bigot.


Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:15:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By poink:
Originally Posted By Nlinc:
The article mentioned the 2 guys have wives, so why does the thread title say 2 homos? Am I missing something?


Proper adjective for Texans?


Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:16:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By poink:


Or the likelihood that their wives will attend the ceremony in the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.


Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:27:55 AM EST
****one tree lover to another***** "If you dont tell anyone I have a wooden dick, I wont tell anyone you have splinters in your mouth"
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:30:27 AM EST
NOT real Texans, I bet they moved here.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:32:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By DaGrandPoobah:
*Sigh* Again, and eternally, LINK, PLEASE!!!!!!!!


Seriously?
http://tinyurl.com/l8le8a
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:33:05 AM EST
Steers and Queers.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:35:17 AM EST

Well, at least during the honeymoom, SOMEONE will have wood.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:35:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:39:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:40:04 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:41:48 AM EST
I'm going to laugh when the tree dies.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:44:17 AM EST
Wonder which one has bids on the knot hole?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:45:36 AM EST

lol, art degrees
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:46:16 AM EST
Originally Posted By cruze5:
nothing amazes me anymore





Unfortunately, this is becoming true for me as well.




You know, I consider myself to be fairly open minded and I'm willing to leave others alone if they'll do the same for me but, quite frankly, some many of the things I see and read about these days are just plain, damn, stupid.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:46:36 AM EST
so if i burn/chop the tree down, is that a hate crime?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:47:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By lamarbrog:
I'm going to laugh when the tree dies.

this
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 9:57:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By poink:
The Art Guys’ big fat not-so-gay wedding (Two men marrying a tree)
Houston Chronicle ^ | June 14, 2009 | Douglas Britt

As more and more gay couples are doing these days, Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing will don tuxes on Saturday and walk down a wedding aisle to say their vows.

But what will distinguish their marriage from ones happening in Iowa and most New England states isn’t just the fact that it will have no legal standing in Texas, which confers none of the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples, even if they’ve been together as long as Galbreth and Massing, who celebrated their 25th anniversary last year.

Or the likelihood that their wives will attend the ceremony in the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

It’s the fact that their wedding isn’t to each other. It’s to a live oak sapling.

Welcome to The Art Guys Marry a Plant, the latest performance — or as they prefer to call it, the latest “behavior” work — by the Houston conceptual duo. And it has nothing to do with the country’s hottest civil rights issue, they say, although they both support the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“I don’t even care about that,” says Galbreth of the gay-marriage issue. “It doesn’t even warrant discussion. I’m happy that the issue is out there because it helps promotes us, in a crude sense, when the people mistakenly think that it’s a political gesture, which to my mind, it’s not.”

Marketing is part and parcel of the Art Guys’ collaborative persona. For their 1998-1999 project SUITS: The Clothes Make the Man, they sold ad space on Todd Oldham-designed suits and wore them for a year around the country. Another piece, Forever Yours, hasn’t been realized yet because it involves selling their cremated remains for $1 million, and a buyer willing to pony up that kind of cash has yet to emerge. They’re also at work on selling the rights to the Art Guys brand.

In that sense it’s unsurprising that the Art Guys would, as Galbreth puts it, use the issue as “a mechanism for us to crudely piggyback on.” But it’s curious that artists who pride themselves on their follow-through would settle for piggybacking rather than going whole-hog.

Not that they see it that way.

“This is an actual wedding,” Galbreth insists. “This is not a pretend wedding. When the Art Guys do things, it’s the real thing.”

Usually, that’s true. For the 1994 behavior work Bucket Feet, the Art Guys really did walk 10 miles through downtown with buckets of water attached to their feet. For Blow Through Town (1995), they actually took to the streets with leaf blowers, blowing piles of debris across a 15-mile stretch of the city. And they’ve vowed that their wives won’t get to keep so much as a teaspoon of their ashes if Forever Yours sells.

For their big fat not-so-gay wedding, the Art Guys are playing it straight. The vows and format will be as traditional as possible. An ordained minister will officiate, and he’ll only address the Art Guys, because trees can’t talk and the Lorax hasn’t been invited. After all, one “fairly simple read(ing)” of the piece that Massing suggests is that it’s “an acknowledgement of man’s existence and how it bumps up and interacts with nature.”

But there won’t be a marriage license, because the Texas constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2005, leaves no wiggle room for quirky exceptions, spelling out that marriage “shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

As for the sapling, it’s not moving in with either of the Art Guys, who plan to plant it in a location to be determined — Massing says he thinks somewhere “deep in the woods” might be the best place — with or without a commemorative ceremony and plaque.

Press releases notwithstanding, this “behavior” doesn’t blur the boundary between art and life. It draws a bright, bold outline between art and Galbreth’s and Massing’s lives, at any rate. The same federal government that recognizes the Art Guys’ trademark also recognizes their real-life marriages to women.

But when it comes to the boundary between this artwork and the lives of gay and lesbian couples — even those in states where gay marriage is legal — the piece blurs it much more effectively. As far as Uncle Sam is concerned, their unions have no more legal standing than the Art Guys’ marriage to a tree. Of course, it also inadvertently reinforces the “slippery slope” argument that if we let gays wed, next we’ll allow people to marry animals, and so on.

Normally I don’t critique performances before they occur, but given the nature of this one, I’m speaking now so I don’t have to forever hold my peace.

http://www.chron.com/photos/2009/06/10/17039585/260xStory.jpg
Right...

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:00:12 AM EST
Isn't this a case of polygamy on the part of the married men? Polyandry on the part of the tree? Maybe polyarbory? It has to be illegal.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:05:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By TinyBalls:

They were born tree fuckers.

Anyone who says different is a bigot.


Leafblowers
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:10:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 10:21:30 AM EST by ScoutOut]
Children pay attention. This is what happens when you don't put beans in your chili.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:10:05 AM EST

Probably really confusing....

"Would you take the wood for your stool"?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:17:08 AM EST
Don't they realize tree's don't have buttholes?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:18:47 AM EST
AND THEY SAID THIS DAY WOULDNT COME


WHAT NEXT? HMMM? TWO HOMOS WANTING TO MARRY A GOAT?


its going to happen. it is. look what just happened!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:23:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:27:34 AM EST
What happened to the, "What 2 consenting adults do crowd?"

This proves my mental illness theory.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:45:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 10:49:01 AM EST by lostnswv]
Originally Posted By Deech:
AND THEY SAID THIS DAY WOULDNT COME


WHAT NEXT? HMMM? TWO HOMOS WANTING TO MARRY A GOAT?


its going to happen. it is. look what just happened!


Leave the __________ alone just because their ______ teaches them to hate and revile women and mentally fucks them over until they like to hump other dudes, young boys (not necessarily applicable to all weirdo of the ________ ), and animals doesn't mean it's ok to hate them.

I can't wait for the day society tells some of these wack jobs and scuzzbuckets to climb back into their closets and lock the door.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:25:44 AM EST
Tag
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:34:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By Deech:
AND THEY SAID THIS DAY WOULDNT COME


WHAT NEXT? HMMM? TWO HOMOS WANTING TO MARRY A GOAT?


its going to happen. it is. look what just happened!


The article indicated they aren't homos. So I guess the day hasn't come.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:35:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By TinyBalls:

They were born tree fuckers.

Anyone who says different is a bigot.


They better check the knot holes for bees!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:36:07 AM EST
I guess this redefines "tree hugger".
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:40:19 AM EST
Thats gay.

Cut down the tree
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:46:44 AM EST
Id like too skin all the branches off that tree. Then stomp the shit out of it.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:50:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By MTUSA:
What happened to the, "What 2 consenting adults do crowd?"

This proves my mental illness theory.


This further supports my belief that marriage should be one man-one woman........both of legal age, all else is null and void.

No dogs, boats,gerbils,geese,horses ............or fracking trees.

Otherwise , I want to marry my guns so I can write them off as dependents.


Im all for freedom and such............but this is beyond ridiculous.
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