Week 2: The Body on Edge


Embodiment in performance art is a situation in which the performer’s body is present on stage, as well as the spectator’s. In performance art, artists – or hired performers – often dare to do extreme things and even put themselves at risk.

Canadian-Ukranian artist Taras Polataiko has recruited a few women to perform the part of sleeping beauty in his installation displayed at the National Art Museum of Ukraine. His interactive and immersive work requires the audience’s sheer commitment.

The installation features a woman snuggled in a bed in a gallery. She is bound by a contract to marry the museum visitor that can open her eyes with a kiss. “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?” one of the women performers told press.

The ‘Prince Charmings’ cannot participate in the installation/performance, unless they are at least 18 years old, as they also have to sign a contract. As the guys were lining up to make out, one of them told interviewers, “I wanted to sense her essence. I didn’t even want to see her. I wanted to feel that girl. I wanted to feel her with my heart, but I didn’t feel anything.” #awkward

“The tension of the performance is in the seductiveness and fear of the ultimate moment,” reads the exhibit’s description. This performance piece is designed in such way, that not only does it challenge the visitors to stop being spectators, but to become participants, it also sets their future at stake. Who ever thought that one can visit a gallery and almost leave with a ring on their finger?

“It’s a really serious thing, it’s marriage”

Taras Polataiko for The Telegraph


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