When I first heard that Lauren Adkins wanted to get married to a cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson as the brooding Edward Cullen, I was sure that she was a Twihard and/or an objectum sexual. But it turns out that she’s something else entirely—an artist! And this whole stunt is actually her MFA final thesis exhibition, officially called Love is Overtaking Me.
Lauren was hoping to raise $2,500 to cover the costs of her fake wedding—including the ceremony/minister fee, dress, his-and-hers rings, wedding cake, and photo prints and framing. She ended up raising $1,235 before her Indiegogo campaign ended, but she’s going ahead with it regardless, even if she has to pony up some of the costs herself. Her commitment to the project — aside from her degree hinging on it, of course — is clear in her artistic statement:
This work focuses on the female escapist fantasy in its most popular forms—primarily finding “true love”—and the extent to which it seeps into our real lives. I’ve looked at this fantasy primarily through a pop cultural lens; that is I’ve used film & television’s representations of the love story and female characters in general in an attempt to understand my own expectations of romantic love. Because of personal attachment to and experience with this fantasy or quest, which took a particularly strong hold of me when I discovered the intensely popular Twilight Saga, my thesis exhibition will touch on romantic expectation primarily through the main love interest, Edward Cullen.
So rest assured, she’s not as unhinged as other examples of the Twilight fandom that we’ve witnessed over the years. And yet, I’m really curious for Lauren to expound on what she meant when she said that Stephenie Meyer‘s series “took a particularly strong hold of me.” Was she at one point reading and/or writing fanfiction about Edward and Bella’s honeymoon? Or has she always approached the series from a more detached angle?
If I could get a flight to Las Vegas, I would totally ask her. The ceremony on January 26, 2013 is private, but Lauren will be recording it and broadcasting it online. And the reception, which doubles as an art exhibition, is open to the public! And backers at a certain perks level receive photos of her honeymoon with Edward. Those photos better make their way to Tumblr!
This isn’t Lauren’s first foray into the female escapist fantasy: One of her projects last year was The Look, a video compilation of the moment in every rom-com when the heroine smiles (sadly, happily, longingly) at the man she loves. I applaud anyone examining why these tropes never die in pop culture, insipid or unrealistic as they may be. Also, this is kind of the perfect bookend to the Twilight saga, isn’t it?
Photo: Krystal Ramirez