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If you thought Spain’s Eskimo Jesus was the only controversial art story happening these days, think again: artist Taras Polataiko has taken it upon himself to realize the fairy tale classic Sleeping Beauty at the National Art Museum of Ukraine. The gist of the performance is: Polataiko dresses “beauties” who have volunteered for the part in white gowns and makeup. They lie sleeping on a bed in the museum for two hours each day. Anyone who visits the exhibition may kiss a beauty, and if she opens her eyes while being kissed, the two must marry each other.
Yes, you read that right. Both the performers and the viewers are required to sign contracts saying that they will marry if the woman opens her eyes while the kiss is happening. Everyone involved must be at least 18 years old and unmarried.
Polataiko seems to think he’s doing these women a real favor: “I hope they come, so it will be more interesting for the beauties,” he tells the Telegraph in the video embedded above. The paper also spoke to one of the women participating, who told an interviewer:
If it’s my true love, I will feel it on an intuitive level. Secondly, if I don’t feel it, I won’t open my eyes. Anything can happen in life. And suddenly it’s fate. What if it’s the only way I’ll meet my soul mate?
Where do to even begin?! The project perpetuates useless, even dangerous, heteronormative myths, namely that women need men to come find them, to wake them and save them; and that only men and women belong together, romantically. This isn’t art that engages with and challenges popular tropes; it simply reinforces them. If Polataiko had taken the Sleeping Beauty idea and twisted it — so that men slept while waiting for women to kiss them, or women slept while waiting for other women — that would be something worth seeing.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.