You may remember performance artist Amir Baradaran from Marina Abramovic’s MoMA performance, when instead of staring into her eyes he ceremoniously married her/her work a few times and made her giggle. Next weekend in Paris, he’s going to enter a temporary marriage –a Mut’ah/Sigheh–with anyone he can, to comment on the “perplexing push by ‘progressives’ to ‘include’ same-sex couples in the definition of marriage.”
Baradaran “will introduce the progressive concept back into the queer conversation” and, almost radically, he is not enthusiastic about gay marriage because:
“It is ironic that to be considered progressive today, one must adopt a conventional attitude and conform to the confines of a failing conservative institution.”
For the record, not everyone thinks that marriage is “a failing conservative institution” or mutually exclusive to, say, a poly lifestyle, for example. But go on.
Baradaran will enter “temporary marriages with participants from all genders, ages, and orientations, thus subverting the religious, sexual, and cultural dichotomies that created it, that control and categorize the body.”
He will also comment on the Sigheh as the Islamic edict–”pleasure marriage”–a concept that allows casual sex and somehow preserves non-marital abstinence with casual marriage ceremonies, a dance-around-sin of sorts. Yes, it’s getting quite philosophically hefty, as Baradaran appropriates allegedly “backwards” Islamic customs and costumes and brings attention to other hypocritical manifestations of “progressivism” in American culture, claiming that “the treatment of gays is utilized to justify America’s impending war against Iran.” That seems a bit of a reach, but we’re excited to see the project unfold.
You can observe the interactive work participants as they “wed Baradaran’s live sculpture” (him) as its streamed live at AmirBaradaran.com. “Mary Me To The End Of Love,” Amir Baradaran’, Jun 23 – Jun 30, Cite internationale des Arts, Paris, France