In a move I can only call brilliant, Starz Entertainment Group art director Suzanne Heintz shunned the traditional marriage and family life in favor of something far more unconventional. For the last 14 years, Heintz has been living with her strong but silent husband Chauncey and her never-rebellious teenage daughter Mary Margaret as part of an art project she calls “Life Once Removed.”
We’ve all been there: being needled by friends to “put yourself out there,” being pressured by family members to “settle down and have kids.” Enduring the same indignities, Heintz was thinking about her single life, walking past a retail liquidation store that sold mannequins when she said she realized, “I can buy a family!” And she’s been photographing their life together ever since — traveling all over the world with her family of “mute quadriplegics” and loving every minute of it. If that’s not unconventional enough for you, Heintz also has a real, live-in boyfriend of seven years, but has no interest in marrying him. Yet, she plans to renew her vows with Chauncey this June in front of friends, family and mannequins.
Although it seems hard to find the right words to explain WHY, in “Playhouse,” a new documentary about her non-traditional family/ art project coming out this month, Heintz gets in-depth with her more feminist reasons for her trailblazing life choices:
“Yes, I’m a grown woman playing dress-up and house. But it’s all for a darn good reason. And it’s not because I need medication. It’s because I have the right to decide how my life looks. And you know what, so do you! Women’s lib was in the ‘70s. It’s the 21st century now and somehow, I’m still not right without a ring on my finger? What’s up with that?”
Point well taken, Suzanne. And now she’s led the way for all of us who would prefer to cohabitate with people whose chewing noises will never drive us insane. [Oddity Central]