Australian Video Art Archive

Jill Orr


The Marriage of the Bride to Art

00:09:00 1994

This work was performed at the National Gallery of Victoria, for Dry-docks and Slipways: Celebrating Women, Program Access Gallery, NGV: 1994.

This is a complex work structured round Marcel Duchamp`s The Bride Stripped Bare by his Bachelors Even. I used this opportunity, as an artist who has dedicated my life to art, to symbolically marry the Art Institution and pay homage to my elders. To marry, I needed permission and blessings from the Mothers and Fathers of Modern Art. There were no Mothers available so I chose the Fathers: Henry Moore with his Draped Seated Woman, ode to archetypal and generalised woman and Rodin, with his famous Balzac, ode to individualization – these sculptures were in the fore court of the original 1960s National Gallery of Victoria, (now NGV International). The third Father is Marcel Duchamp and The Bride Stripped Bare by his Bachelors Even.

I perform the bride, the bachelor plus the androgenous character of my own insertion as the muse and provocateur who, endowed with a clothed penis (unveiled later in Raising the Spirits) and breasts, underpins gendered representation by articulating the shades of grey in between the definitive male and female binary assumptions.

DVD available.