You know the story of Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful young woman is cursed with a deep sleep and can only be awoken by the kiss of true love. A fairytale that we always hear ending up with a handsome prince and his well-slept bride by his side, running off into the sunset together.
Well, Ukrainian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko has turned the tale into an art installation. Various women, dressed in wedding gowns and laying comfortably on a raised bed in the middle of a gallery, will sleep for 2hrs at a time while viewers walk around. Looking. And creepily: kissing.
Ooh yes, darlings. Unwed men are allowed, nay encouraged! to approach the women and kiss them. If the woman opens her eyes, she must marry him. Or at least, be willing to entertain the idea, per the agreement they all sign upon being a part of the project.
Did I mention that the artist behind the experiment is a man?
Oh course it is. Who else would think to send pretty women into a room, let strange men have their way with them while the women pretend to sleep, and combine it all with a ‘I guess I have to marry you now’ contract. It’s only better knowing that the women are presumably all of Ukrainian decent, an area rife with human trafficking, specifically of young women, into arranged marriages and sexual exploitation around the world.
And knowing this, you would think that it would be the premise of the art project. But of course it’s not. It’s about love.
“I am turning the fairy tale into reality, the Prince fell in love with her deeply, strongly and this love woke her up,” Polataiko told The Associated Press. “Strong love happens by chance.”…But it also has political undertones, symbolizing the patience of the Ukrainian people trapped by what he calls the oppressive government of President Viktor Yanukovych, and hopes that the nation will one day awaken to true freedom.”
Ah yes. Love. Or using women’s lifeless bodies as a gimmick to sell you shitty art project.
Or effectively selling women to strange men as an experiment for personal gain and little to no social redeeming value.
Or a massively missed attempt to actually discuss the selling of women in his own country through a provocative art project and instead shit out a vapid statement on love. The least interesting, least compelling of all reasons to make art.
A nation awaking to personal liberty in their country ? women being woken up by a stranger kissing them and being contractually obligated to marry said stranger.
Oh my god. This guy. This project. How did he get as far as saying “political statement” and not come to the right conclusion? You were half way there! Oh my god!
I hate you.
Funnily enough, one woman was kissed by another woman (who had a boyfriend), which led to some confusion because gay marriage isn’t legal in the Ukraine. Whoops!
Another woman who didn’t open her eyes made the kisser cry.
Best part of the whole thing? One of the women was kissed and left with an iPad, $400, and an invite to live with the man in Amsterdam. He was an American.
Because it’s about love you guyz. True
prostitution sexual exploitation hilariously ironic disregard for the sanctity of marriage but love. The kind where you don’t even mind the decades worth of morning breath and sleepy-seeds in your mail-order bride’s eyes. Who said romance is dead?