Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adah is waiting for Ruth, Ruth is waiting for Esther, Esther is waiting for Martha...

I found a few pictures labeled like this last weekend, names on the front. It's a conflicted method of archiving because it simultaneously reveals and conceals the image. It seemed to me, as I thought about this while walking, that perhaps this act of simultaneous revealing and concealing is symptomatic of larger themes of growth and entropy. I love this picture-- it almost seems like their dresses were designed for the exact purpose to be photographed and scrawled upon. The only person left unnamed is the bride herself, known only as "waiting matron." It reminds me of a project by Swedish artist Elin Wystrom called "Rebecca Is Waiting for Anna, Anna Is Waiting for Cecelia, Cecelia Is Waiting for Marie …" This performance piece, which could happen anywhere, is one in which women volunteer (ahead of time) to show up and wait at a table until they are relieved after 15 minutes by the next volunteer. That's the whole piece, women waiting for women. Of course, in this context the Waiting Matron is waiting for a man... but there's something about the anticipation of bridemaids that suggest that the wedding is a ritual about women and their shared destiny rather than one between a husband and bride.

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