Getting Hubbied, now, for real
And the Get Hubbied wedding goes to:
Busy are the various Hubbyco marriage elves and fairies, making objects and planning activities that have charm and eloquence, creating a celebration of love and community inspired by and dedicated to the love of two people. A wedding which is planned and produced by artists, by artists whom you know and admire. View the video interviews above and try not to smile and also tear up.
We’ll get back to the Get Hubbied festivities in a moment. For now, pretend that we’re chatting in front of the church, waiting for the bride and the groom to appear. (Fade in to a warm Spring day, the fragrance of stephanotis is in the air and the bright yellow sun is just beginning its descent. Shadows are clear and we hear the rustle of gowns and tuxedos , soft voices in conversation, and the not so quiet play of children…)
Bettina Hubby has been part of my art world consciousness for more than a decade. Thinking back to when we met, at the time Bettina worked at Acme on Wilshire, I feel like I am looking back a million years – we were all of us just nubbins of the people we are now. (Well, sort of. I recognize this statement to be an exaggeration but allow me some license. And I will allow you yours. Smiling.) As I run names and faces without names through my head I’m surprised by how many people have stuck around. Whatever its reputation, Los Angeles is an incredibly stable community. After Acme we found Ms. Hubby working at a bookstore on Melrose Place. A drop dead elegant salon for rich bookish types, this was. This shop sold books for hundreds and thousands of dollars. It had beautiful 3/4″ beveled plate glass shelves in cases with polished brass fittings. I recall a photograph on which Allen Ginsberg had inscribed a poem, or perhaps it was a diatribe; there was a performance program that bore stains from chocolate spilled by one of the famous Beat writers – this was treated with reverence, like the Shroud of Turin.
For a period of several months, maybe this was 2001 or thereabouts, a collection of Fluxus ephemera came their way and the shop organized a series of exhibitions, sales, readings and performances. Many artists enacted, or re-enacted, Fluxus performances – Keith Walsh brought in a violin and began playing for us, first in the shop/gallery space then strolling out onto Melrose Place. A crowd of us followed and he led us – slowly and with composure to start then with increasing fury – around the triangular block. The performance culminated with Walsh kicking his violin for the final sprint back to the gallery, where he stamped on and abandoned the violin on the floor. I think Judith Hoffberg did a reading. I think Skip Arnold was wrapped in Saran Wrap and propped in a doorway. I think it was all fabulous and amazing and perhaps you’ll bear with me through these memories because we’ve all been new in a world at one time or another and certainly you can remember yourself how magical that discovery and those moments are.
David and I were charmed, and while our budding collecting habit was already focused on artists whom we could meet, rather than on trophy’s from a bygone era, we wanted somehow to share this feeling. An opportunity presented itself: Two friends, artists, were getting married. Somehow we knew that these individuals admired George Brecht and his Fluxus work. There was a deck of cards available among the ephemera on offer, a George Brecht deck of playing cards. Sealed in the original cellophane these cards were – unopened these fifty or so years. This deck of cards would become our wedding gift to this couple, with the delightful thought that they would have to settle together whether to open and play with the cards or simply gaze upon them. Sweet.
Which finally, at long last, brings me back to Bettina Hubby – left behind several paragraphs and many memories ago, patiently waiting for me to make a transition, any transition, just to bring this all together. Whew. I’m glad my characters are real only in the world, and not in my writing.
[But first, a few facts that I learned from Internet searches: The Ellsworth Snyder Collection of Fluxus Multiples and Ephemera was represented by Roth Horowitz Anderson of 8446 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, in 2002. Link to the comprehensive Fluxus and Happening website, archives and collections page. Link to Roth Publications and Exhibitions, Fluxus Necessarius page. Link to Glenn Horowitz, Bookseller. Link to Calothrix, webpage with essay about pianist and collector Ellsworth Snyder. The essay begins:
“Fifteen pieces of paper and three paper bags: the price of admission to an Ellsworth Snyder recital. It is typical of the man’s impish humor, and his concern as an interpreter of scores, to make sure that his unknowing orchestra (they think they’re the audience) bring the correct instruments for Benjamin Patterson’s Paper Piece (1960). To be a performer of most kinds of modern music meant to be prepared for surprises throughout the entire twentieth century, but Snyder’s firm and gentle commitment to avant-garde classical music meant he accepted challenges beyond the calling of pianist…” continue reading here.
I find Calothrix to be writer Simon Anderson.
Keith Walsh website. I note that Walsh was in an exhibition recently at Weekend Space, and that Walsh and Brad Spence had a conversation about the work. You may read a transcript of that conversation here and view images from the exhibition here. And, why not? Read Annie Buckley’s Artforum.com review here. (maybe. artforum desperately wants you to sign up to read past content. play along if you have to.)
Skip Arnold website.
Forgot about those brackets, didn’t you? Me too.
Back to the wedding!
Shamelessly grabbing content from the Get Hubbied website:
“Marriage is a subject people have a strong opinion about. California’s Proposition 8 has elevated dialogue worldwide on deeply important issues involving marriage. Like birth and death, marriage is universal; I think the subject can serve as a launching pad for potent artwork. Instead of doing a solo exploration or a group show about marriage in a gallery format, I wanted to expand it to a more interactive, joyful and real experience. This time-honored and controversial ritual will become the creative platform for the GET HUBBIED collective of artists hand-in-hand with Bec and Ruben’s union.” Continue reading Bettina Hubby on ‘why are we doing this?‘ here.
“I eagerly anticipate the culmination of all of this time spent thinking about marriage and to see how each artist involved in the project approaches the topic through their chosen medium. I am certain that everyone privy to GET HUBBIED will have more to pontificate on and hopefully more reasons to celebrate this form of commitment. I am not sure I will have the answer to the conundrum of life-long partnership by the time GET HUBBIED has culminated, but I am sure I’ll have a longer list of hypotheses as to why the urge to marry is prevalent.” Continue reading Tif Sigrids, also on ‘why are we doing this?’ here.
If my writing is seeming to be oblique and a little vacant of hard information, this is because I want you to leave my site and get yourself to the Get Hubbied website. There is much to see and to read on this site, funny wedding stories, histories of wedding related art from the recent and more distant past, pictures of and interviews with the lucky couple and their (patient and willing) families, and, and, and – everybody loves a wedding, don’t we? Even the cynical among us must quell our jaded natures and be happy.
Rebecca Nicole Ulrich and Ruben Vincenté Diaz will GET HUBBIED on September 25, 2011
The Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock will host this celebration. CFAER will also be the generous host for all the artwork, ephemera and film from Get Hubbied, to be exhibited in the gallery for one month, opening on October 8th, 2011
This is an unorthodox and truly once in a lifetime approach to tying the knot, Rebecca Ulrich and Ruben Diaz have entrusted all the details of their wedding ceremony to Get Hubbied’s hand-picked collection of over 30 artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians and designers—among them Barbara Bestor, Ed Ruscha, Joe Sola, Skip Arnold, Roger Herman and Michele O’Marah. Tailored specifically for the couple, each artist has and will reinterpret an aspect or detail of the wedding, from invitations, rice throwing, car decoration, to photography and flowers.
Marriage, a broadly interpreted and lastingly resonant idea, remains the only widely accepted form of officially honoring the relationship between two loving individuals. From the elements and rituals surrounding the ceremony, to its social, legal and financial implications, the very act of this union deserves exploratory consideration.
GET HUBBIED is designed as a multi-media, multi-dimensional investigation and celebration of this time-honored institution, which will manifest itself through Bec and Ruben’s ceremony.
At a certain level in your anticipated support of this project, you will receive an invitation to the wedding. Think of it as a gift.
Think of me as the social diarist of the LA artworld, where all our friends are ‘A’ listers.
Smiling and leaving you now,