Marriage of the Bride to Art, 1994: National Gallery of Victoria

Jill Orr

1 Jul 1994

This work was performed at the National Gallery of Victoria for the Drydocks and Slipways Celebrating Women Program, Access Gallery, 1994. This is a complex work structured around 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, an ode to archetypal woman and Rodin and his famous Balzac, ode to individualization. These sculptures were in the forecourt of the early National Gallery of Victoria (now NVG, International). The third father is Marcel Duchamp’s with The Bride Stripped Bare by his Bachelors Even. I performed the bride, the bachelor, plus the androgenous character of my own insertion. This gender exploration looks at the shades of grey in between the definitive extremes where there exist multiple and fascinating variations on all binary assumptions.