watch at vimeo.com

will you marry me?

watch at youtube.com

My family’s celibacy and spinsterhood, is quite remarkable. I find it particularly puzzling, from the vantage point of the twenty first century in the US, where people marry and divorce many times during their lives, that seven brothers and sisters did not achieve even one marriage among them.

In thinking about this, I started noticing marriage proposals in movies, soap operas, and sitcoms. This made it all the more mysterious and difficult to explain why my aunts and uncles did not marry. My sister and I both married quite late in life and I have found from the family papers that every generation of my family had a marriage deficit of some measure. Is there a spinsterhood gene?

I started collecting footage of marriage proposals as if to fill the void in my family’s lives, and to compensate for that I cobbled together over two minutes of unrelenting marriage proposals as if to fill a void that can never be filled. I continue to collect footage of marriage proposals even after I am done with the video; it is a compulsion I cannot overcome.

I dressed two pieces of found furniture as a bride and groom and embedded the video of proposals that show these simple scenes where the traditional phrases: “will you marry me,” “will you do me the honor to be my wife”, are repeated again and again. A scene that eluded my aunts and uncles and almost missed my sister and me.