Art News: “A Lesbian Kiss Awakens Sleeping Beauty” / Hyperallergic

A Sleeping Beauty finds her “prince” (all images via the artist)

In Canadian-Ukranian artist Taras Polataiko’s exhibition Sleeping Beauty at the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kiev, which continues until September 9, the artist positions himself as a postmodern fairytale mythmaker, a Brothers Grimm of the internet Age. The exhibition itself is simple, based on Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairytale of the same name — but the real-life results of this performance are both beautiful and shocking.

Anyone who is 18-years-old, single and does not have mouth herpes is invited to kiss the Sleeping Beauty who lies asleep on her white satin bed. There are five Sleeping Beauties total; each takes turns, sleeping on the raised white satin bed for two hours at a time. Eric Satie’s Gnossienes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 play on a loop in the gallery. Participants sign a legally binding waiver which states that they will wed the Sleeping Beauty if she awakens to their kiss. This can only happen, of course, if the Sleeping Beauty intuitively feels that her prince or princess has arrived. The “prince” may be male or female – so long as they Sleeping Beauty awakens to that person, the sex does not matter. As self-appointed fairytale director and guard, Polataiko both keeps watch over the Beauty, and documents her as she sleeps.

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