Art professor to stage performance art wedding at 2009 Venice Biennale

UCSC art professor and multimedia artist Elizabeth Stephens will "marry the ocean" with fellow artist-bride Annie Sprinkle in a performance art wedding at the 53rd Venice Biennale on August 28.

The event will take place at the Society of Fear Pavilion, curated by artist Jota Castro.

Since its inception in 1895, the Venice Biennale has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions promoting the avant-garde and organizing diverse international events in the contemporary arts.

The artist-brides noted that marrying the sea in Venice is an ancient tradition, which is still celebrated today.

"The sea has a fast growing cancer made of islands of plastic the size of Texas," said Stephens and Sprinkle. "She is suffocating from gasses caused by our pollution. Ninety percent of her large fish have been wiped out. She's overheating and being brutally exploited. We simply can't live without her."

"The Society of Fear Pavilion is the perfect place for this wedding," they added. "We are afraid of the total destruction of our beautiful environment. If more people were afraid too, maybe they'd do something about it."

The wedding in Venice is part five of a seven-year performance art project titled the Love Art Laboratory, in which the artists exchange vows annually in themed weddings around the world. The project was inspired by artist Linda M. Montano's performance piece, 14 Years of Living Art.

For more information about the Society of Fear Pavilion, go to Venice Biennale.