This piece examines the impact that conforming to religious and cultural expectations can have on our lives. And encourages participants to take a look at parts of their backgrounds they might reexamine.
In preparing for this performance, and with a little help from some family I sculpted, cast, and painted 100 unique bride and groom wedding cake toppers by hand. Many of the wedding cake toppers were interracial couples, which was something Rev. Moon believed would help bring world peace, and the reason I am Biracial.
Arranged in single file across a cake, 100 couples recreated the mass wedding practice that the Unification Church has become known for.
Familial Loyalty and trusting the authority of the Church was fundamental to the UC. The arrangement of the elements in the banner expresses this in the graphic style of holy ceremonies and events of the UC. At the top of the banner is the Unification Churches holy symbol known as the Twelve Gates. Below that is the photo taken the day my wife Zia Daugherty and I attended our mass wedding on October 10 2010. Below our picture sits a photo of the late Mr. Rev. Moon, and the living Rev. Hak Ja Han Moon, who is currently running the organization. The backdrop is set on a photograph from the mass wedding that both my and Zia's parents attend.
The performance began with me cutting out a large piece of cake adorned with a bride and groom cake topper. This was handed to Zia who then offered it to crowd without words or explanation. Upon receiving a slice, participant were met with a formal congratulations and nothing else. Each slice revealed a blend of color hidden below the surface of the plain white buttercream frosting. When participants took their first bite, many were surprised by some of the unpleasant flavours intentionally baked into the cake. Hidden underneath the towering slice of not so pleasant food was a message on the plate that read:
"Raised in the Unification Church, we aimed to please our parents by entering an arranged marriage and joining a mass wedding led by Rev. Moon, who claimed to be the second coming of Christ. Despite Leaving the Church, We've remained happily married for over 13 years. We invite you to enjoy what you like of this cake and leave behind what you do not."
providing context to the experience.
Deconstructing my cultural and religious background has been quite a journey. None of us get to choose where we come from, but we all get to choose where we are going. If you are given a giant slice of colorful cake that you dont entirely enjoy, you are not required to swallow it. Enjoy what you like, and leave the rest.
Photos by Logan Miller

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