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This Ukrainian Sleeping Beauty
Wants To Marry You

08.30.12 Marina Galperina

Watch the gents line up to kiss this beauty on the lips, as she “sleeps” on a pedestal bed in the middle of an art gallery in Kiev, garlanded in silk finery, pink lipstick, a flower wreath and all. Will this one be the one? Will this one? Well, if she feels something and “wakes up,” they are contractually obligated to get married.

Ukrainian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko says, “Everybody, any viewer, will have to sign the contract, which says if – this is very important, because nobody has to – ‘if I kiss the beauty and she opens her eyes while being kissed, I marry her.’… It’s a really serious thing, it’s marriage.”

Meanwhile, the girl hopes to feel the one she’s fated to be with “intuitively” while the courting gents are all like, “I wanted to feel her with her heart.” Isn’t that romantical as hell? And not at all necrophilia-lite PDA? A fairytale indeed. Try your luck in Kiev through September 9.

That’s now. This is then. The hayday of Russian performance art scene in the 1990s. Elena Kovylina stands with her head in a noose, balancing on a chair in high heels, inviting any gallery visitor to knock the chair out from under her. Good thing the rope broke. Feminism trumps fairy tales?