By Nava Atlas
New Paltz, New York: Amberwood Press, 2013.
Edition of 300 standard, 25 deluxe.
Standard: 14 x 9.5"; 10 gatefold pages. Laser offset. Bound in full-page wraps with double wire-o binding. Historic images of interracial couples appropriated from internet sources. Images of same-sex couples licensed from stock photo sources. Texts excerpted from court documents, state codes, and public political pronouncements. Signed by the artist.
Deluxe: 14.5 x 9.9" album cover containing the standard edition of Why You Can't Get Married. This standard edition has 10 gatefold pages and double wire-o binding. Back page of standard edition adhered to back album cover. Album covers illustrated with mock wedding invitations. Drop spine and frame (of covers) covered in off-white fabric (like a wedding album). Colophon on back cover. Signed and numbered on the colophon by the artist.
Nava Atlas: "Why You Can't Get Married: An Unwedding Album examines the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage through the lens of the past. The very arguments used to oppose interracial marriage in generations past have been recycled for use against same-sex marriage. Comparing state codes, legal opinions, public hearings, and political pronouncements, it becomes apparent that the arguments aren't just similar, but nearly identical. The book ends with a ray of hope, presenting Mildred Loving's statement on the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision, Loving vs. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in all fifty states. She stated in part, 'I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sexual orientation, should have [the] freedom to marry.'
"An up-to-the-moment pairing on the back cover compares the dissenting opinion from the 1948 case that struck down the California Miscegenation Law, with Antonin Scalia's dissenting opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2013 decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. The Unwedding Album's prettiness stands in stark contrast to the ugliness of the language of bias framed within, a stark reminder that there's still a way to go to before marriage equality is achieved in the U.S."
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