Taras Polataiko “Sleeping Beauty”, 2012
Performance // National Art Museum in Kiev, Ukraine
Five women evoke Sleeping Beauty, as they take shifts lying on the raised bed.
Members of the public may kiss the beauty on the lips or face, to see if the kiss might awaken her. The parties have signed contracts so that, if she opens her eyes, they they will marry.
While the contracts couldn’t be binding, it seems there is a palpable energy in the space as people confront their desires, internalized fairy tales, and experiences of passivity and initiative. So far, only one of the Beauties has been awakened by a kiss —- the kiss of a woman. Gay marriage is not allowed in Ukraine.
Polataiko hopes that the public might discern a political allegory in the performance as well. Ukraine is perhaps too passive as a nation, tolerating oppressive governments, when a full awakening is called for.