‘Sleeping Beauties’ Art Exhibit Turns Fairytale into Real Life
After growing up on a steady diet of saccharine Disney films, some people truly believe that their ‘prince’ or ‘princess’ will come and sweep them off their feet, and that ‘true love’ occurs instantly. Ukrainian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko decided to put this fantasy to the test with an exhibit in the National Art Museum of Ukraine. He calls it ‘Sleeping Beauties’.
To create his exhibit, Polataiko rounded up several women – each over eighteen, each single, and each in search of a husband. They’re all ‘traditionally beautiful’, of course.
The women each lie in the exhibit for two hours at a stretch for three days, dressed in virginal white, feigning sleep and waiting for their ‘prince’ to come. Meanwhile, men wander through the exhibit, checking out the women and deciding which one they want to have as their ‘princess’.
When a man decides which of the ‘sleeping beauties’ he wants for himself (“when I saw her lying motionless and silent, I just knew she was the love of my life!,” they’ll tell their future children), he kisses her once, on the lips. If the ‘sleeping beauty’ opens her eyes during the kiss, the two are contractually obligated to marry.
Yeah. Both the female volunteers and all male participants must sign contracts which state that if the kiss ‘wakes up’ the princess, they must marry. It’s not a contract that would likely hold up in court, but still.
“The tension of the performance is in the seductiveness and fear of the ultimate moment,” says the Sleeping Beauties press release.
The exhibit runs from August 22nd to September 9th. Will any actual marriages come out of it? We’ll have to wait and see.