Marriage Matters

By Cheri Gaulke & Sue Maberry
2005. Edition of 50.

In a year of intensifying public debate about the freedom to marry, Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry invited 10 lesbian and gay couples to go to Sears and have their portraits taken. The portraits were accompanied by personal stories and the story of Maberry and Gaulke’s own 26-year relationship in an artists’ book, Marriage Matters. The book raises the question “when your relationship is not legally recognized, what does marriage matter?” Ten lesbian and gay families reflect upon this question and the matter of their lives together. The Sears portraits give a glimpse of these queer (not strange) families. (This was Gaulke and Maberry’s third Sears portrait project, in which they invert this middle-American tradition to question what and who defines family. The previous projects were installations that have been exhibited widely.)

Marriage Matters was written by Cheri Gaulke and designed by Gaulke and Sue Maberry. It was color laser printed on iridescent Stardream paper in shades of purple, lavender, white and peach with a silk ribbon closure. The accordion spine allows the book’s covers to open back and be held with the silk ribbon. With the alternating vertical and horizontal pages splayed open, the book’s shape resembles a two-tiered wedding cake. This book is luscious looking and filled with juicy details!

This book was made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department. $150