Have you ever loved a piece of art so much you wanted to marry it? Me neither. But along came Taras Polataiko’s Sleeping Beauty to tempt your sensibilities. Five women in the Ukraine are taking part in Polataiko’s piece of performance art where marriage is the ultimate goal.
The women take turns to lie on a bed as if asleep. Visitors to the gallery, men or women, can at any point lean down and kiss the sleeping woman. And if she opens her eyes, they get married. That’s right: gallery visit + kiss + eyes open = wedding bells.
Before going into the gallery the visitors agree “If I kiss the Beauty and she opens her eyes, I agree to marry her.” Likewise, the woman who have volunteered have agreed, “If I open my eyes while being kissed, I agree to marry the kisser.” It is a rather extreme avenue for art to take, and rightfully so – the entire piece is designed to mimic the political unrest in Ukraine.
At first I was a little horrified by Sleeping Beauty. But the more I have read about it the more I have accepted it. Every participant knows exactly what they are getting into and there are some security/medical checks in place. Also, the best art has a continued emotional presence, and one thing you can say for sure is that those five marriages are going to be packed full of emotion.
So if anyone you know announces a sudden trip to the Ukraine, you might want to question them a little closer.
For more information, read this article by Natalia Antonova: Sleeping Beauty becomes a political and personal allegory in Ukraine