Patricia Cronin, Monument to a Marriage (installed at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY), 2006
In Monument to a Marriage, Patricia Cronin disrupts another archive, the cemetery. Installed ‘for eternity’ in New York’s smartest necropolis, Monument to a Marriage makes pointed feminist reference to the funerary sculpture through which many nineteenth-century women artists supported themselves. Sculpted in white Carrera marble, Cronin and her partner lie entwined upon a modern mattress among the memorials to the partners in and products of state sanctioned heterosexuality. By taking anticipatory revenge, Cronin out-manouevres the reality that she and her partner, Deborah Kass, could not be recognized as a family in the eyes of the American state at the time the work was made. “If I can’t have it in life,” says Cronin, “I’m going to have it in death.”
Catherine Lord, “Inside the Body Politic : 1980 - present,” Art & Queer Culture, ed. Catherine Lord and Richard Meyer (New York: Phaidon Press, 2013), 39.