portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative global

arts and culture | gender & sexuality | human & civil rights

Artist to Marry Dead Poet: Isidore Ducasse aka Comte de Lautréamont to Wed Shishaldin

Utilizing an obscure clause in French law, New York based artist Shishaldin is seeking governmental approval of her impending marriage to a deceased writer.
March 29, 2004--An American artist marrying a French poet is hardly an unusual occurrence, unless, of course, the poet in question has been dead for 134 years. Utilizing an obscure clause in French law, an American artist, Shishaldin, has requested permission to marry Isidore Ducasse. Ducasse, writing under the nomme de guerre Comte De Lautréamont, is the author of "Les Chants De Maldoror", widely acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of 19th century French literature. His death at the age of 24, capped a short, controversial, and mysterious career.

Under French Civil Code 171, the President has the authority to sanction marriages between the dead and the living. The law was enacted in 1959 when then President Charles de Gaulle toured the town of Frejus where a dam had burst, killing hundreds. A young woman approached him with the request that she be able to marry her dead fiancée. A special law was passed and, to date, several hundred couples have been married as a result.

"As an artist, I feel compelled to make a bold stand in defense of marriage. I view marriage as a union that cannot be defined, a union of souls and minds, the sort of union celebrated by art and literature... in fact, a marriage of art and literature." says the 23 year old bride to be.

The question of money is not an issue as the law prohibits financial gain that was not already provided for in a pre-existing will. Additionally, the author's works have long since entered the public domain.

"This isn't about money, this is about love and marriage and art. It is about enhancing the stature of a great artist through a spiritual partnership. This is the true spirit of marriage," continues Shishaldin. "Our marriage would also be significant as a symbolic gesture of healing between our two great nations. This would be a marriage that spans across cultures, continents, centuries, and even the mortal plane itself."

The marriage is still awaiting confirmation from French President Jacques Chirac but is scheduled for July of 2004.

About The Couple:
Isidore Ducasse: Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, the French national is best known for his work under the pseudonym Comte de Lautréamont. His novel "Les Chants De Maldoror" is universally regarded as one of the masterpieces of French literature.

Shishaldin: The 23 year old artist resides in Brooklyn where she is an MFA candidate at Pratt Institute. She originally hails from Alaska where she was the statewide women's tennis champion. She is the recipient of numerous awards in tennis and track and recently completed a piece called "Berserker: Meat Marathon" wherein she ran the 2003 NYC Marathon clad in salami. She has been awarded Outstanding Merit in Sculpture from Pratt Institute and was featured on the cover of The Coagula Art Journal. "Shishaldin: Collected Works and Writings", an 80 page illustrated book chronicling the artist's career, was recently published.

For more information:




homepage: homepage: http://www.shishaldin.com

Yawn... 28.Mar.2004 23:17

Portland Surrealist Group pdxsurr@hotmail.com

Another halfwitted art-school stunt. What can we expect from someone from Longview?

yawn, indeed 29.Mar.2004 00:34

not a surrealist

i agree with the above comment. shishaldin is wicked boring and pretentious. i went to her website and clicked through the whole thing last time she posted here, and was disgusted by the kind of tripe that priviliged art students spend their time on when there's a world that needs saving. ugh.

She's getting her publicity 29.Mar.2004 00:47

She's a raging success!

She's getting her publicity. That's the point. It's got nothing to do with art.

I hope Ducasse rises from the dead
And konks her on the head
for using his name
to increase her fame

Just having a little fun.

She should be forced to sleep with a corpse as punishment.
Oh no, she'd enjoy that too much, as it would draw a crowd.

Pathetique! 29.Mar.2004 16:07


Shi, are you sure you in Grad School? Your "art" seems rather sophmoric. Most is rehashed 60's pop art devlving into the stupid plaster casters, jeez! How rad! Casts of 3 whole penii!

Salami attached to a track suit is way rad, you go girl. that's like so, so, Victorian!

We understand now what you are doing at the PRATT institute...