Visitors to Kiev may have an opportunity like no other visitor to any city. The National Art Museum of Ukraine has a special guest on exhibition, Sleeping Beauty. You read that correctly, an art project by the same name sets Ukrainian beauty to the test, “will true love awaken Sleeping Beauty?”
The finest gallery in Kiev is the backdrop for what could end up being a fairytale ending. Any unmarried museum goer who shall kiss Sleeping Beauty (or beauties since there are 5) shall win her in marriage should she awaken. Taras Polataiko, a Ukrainian who now lives in Canada, conceived of this beautiful idea, his goal being creating art that might witness the birth of true love. As far fetched as it may sound, this work of magical enthusiasm may stand a chance at love, or at least great good. I spoke with the artist via Facebook moments ago about how Sleeping Beauty was being recieved in Kiev, here is part of what he had to say:
“…Somehow it shows so much about the society. In Ukraine it showed the most wonderful, gentle and magical aspects of the human soul, as well as most ugly corrupt ones (the Ministry of Culture trying to shut it down)…”
The work is also embellished with humanistic and even political undercurrent (as suggested above), aimed not so vaguely at the notorious government of President Viktor Yanukovych, the artist reportedly wishes the awakening of what reporters term , “true freedom” in Ukraine. Greater collective good being as it will be, it is the intimate story on the surface that at this moment resonates. From what Taras says, apparently his artistic impression has struck not only fairy tale nerves, but the more grim side of our existence too.
Something one of the 5 Sleeping Beauties (on shifts) said somehow encapsulates the potential of this work, scheduled to end tomorrow (at midnight?). All the ladies portraying Sleeping Beauty have agreed to marry Prince Charming should his kiss compel any of them to open their eyes. On of the Princesses told reporters she regretted having kept her eyes so tightly closed, on finding that one Charming was indeed very charming.
The catch for the would be Prince Charming is, he (or she) must sign a contract agreeing to marry Sleeping Beauty should his kiss awaken her. Not legally binding, the big “if” is illustrated in the dynamics of sexual tension suggested by the exhibit. Polataiko’s concept is actually quite brilliant and interesting. As for the Sleeping Beauty shift girls, they were each chosen in a selection event at the museum last month, the requirements being fairly obvious.
The video report from The Telegraph below tells the whole story, at least up unto this point. As of yet, true love has not awakened Sleeping Beauty. Time is running out.
Photo credits: Sleeping Beauty exhibit photos – courtesy Taras Polataiko Facebook.