The Husband Project has my attention, but is it art?

April 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm (art) (, , )

A 23 year-old woman has chosen marriage as the theme for her final year art project. But she’s exploring the topic a little differently – she’s going through the process itself. She’s deftly named it The Husband Project.
Alex Humphrey’s, a student at Leeds College of Art and Design, is disillusioned with dating and scared of becoming a spinster. So she has decided to tackle both her final  project and her love life by setting up a blog to find herself a husband. In an interview in The Times, Humphrey’s says: “I don’t want to wake up when I’m 30 and think: oh my God, I’m on my own.” She adds, “it’s better to say I’m looking for a relationship, not just a shag.”
Humphrey’s has three simple requirements: that applicants are male, have a sense of humour and are taller than her. Applicants are asked to answer a 45 question survery, including things like, “Are you financially secure?” and “Are you good in bed (be honest!)”.
Picture:  foundphotoslj

Picture: foundphotoslj

It reminds me of the woman who sold her virginity on ebay. And also Neil LaBute’s film The Shape of Things where an art student shapes her boyfriend and then hands “him” as her final year thesis. It’s sort of a mix of the two, actually.
But is this art? To me art is about making a statement, and I can’t work out what this one is saying. Humphrey’s reason for the project is to “ensure that I am remembered for years to come!” I’m all for art in Web 2.0, it’s important to push art into new creative boundaries. But I can’t help but think this is more of an exercise in self-promotion tapping into of the trend of instant celebrity.

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