Artists Laurie Anderson and Sophie Calle Spontaneously Exchange Vows in San Francisco

Anderson's brother Thor stepped in to help.

Laurie Anderson and Sophie Calle at the "wedding." Photo: Pamela Gentile/San Francisco Film Society via The San Francisco Chronicle

Laurie Anderson and Sophie Calle at the “wedding.”
Photo: Pamela Gentile/San Francisco Film Society via the San Francisco Chronicle.

Artists Laurie Anderson and Sophie Calle reportedly got “married” in an impromptu ceremony in San Francisco over the weekend.

Anderson was in town to attend a screening of her new movie Heart of a Dog at the Swedenborgian Church in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, following her well–intentioned political installation last month at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.

Laurie Anderson in Sophie Calle's video Prenez Soin de Vous, Arles, Actes Sud (2007). Image: Courtesy of YouTube.

Laurie Anderson in Sophie Calle’s video Prenez Soin de Vous, Arles, Actes Sud (2007).
Image: Courtesy of YouTube.

The picturesque 120-year-old building is the only place of worship in San Francisco protected as a National Historical Landmark. The church is also known for the idyllic surrounding gardens.

The ceremony took place at the Swedborgian Church of San Francisco. Photo: storiesofdevotion.com

The ceremony took place at the Swedborgian Church of San Francisco.
Photo: storiesofdevotion.com.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Anderson and Calle wandered off to explore the grounds. The artists and longtime friends became so moved by the historic building’s atmosphere that Calle reportedly proposed to Anderson and the pair decided to get “married” right away.

Anderson’s brother Thor was tasked with executing the “wedding rites,” while Film Festival staff members stepped in as “witnesses.”

The church is famous for its lush gardens. Photo: Lori Paladino via wedding-spots.com

The church is famous for its lush gardens.
Photo: Lori Paladino via wedding-spots.com.

Film Society photographer Pamela Gentile was on hand to snap images of the improvised ceremony, which lasted about 20 minutes.

Sadly for fans of grand and spontaneous romantic gestures, this particular union between two heterosexual artists was more of an impromptu performance and not a legally binding wedding.

The interior of the Swedborgian Church of San Francisco. Photo: Grace Havlak via wedding-spots.com

The interior of the Swedborgian Church of San Francisco.
Photo: Grace Havlak via wedding-spots.com.

Anderson was married to the late rock star Lou Reed until his death in 2013. Calle was also once married; she and American artist Greg Shephard collaborated on the video art project No Sex Last Night (Double Blind) (1992) during their relationship, but are now divorced.

Featured image: Courtesy of the artist and UCLA.


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