Social Experimentation As Art

“I’m interested in taking the old archetypal narrative, which any fairytale is, and making it real and seeing what happens”…

…Is what Artist Taras Polataiko said in 2012 about his exhibit in Ukraine featuring the theme of sleeping beauty where a woman sleeps and viewers can kiss her, but if she opens her eyes then they are to be married.

The art was taking place in a country who had long struggled with instability and corruption in their government. Their political will was constantly being put to the test.


The political and public power of patience was what Polataiko was reaching to embody. He wanted to use real and intense “consequences” as he calls them. Also he wanted to speak to the Ukrainian people as if they were the beauty and as the kiss that opens her eyes as the political inspiration they need to rise above their tribulations. He said

 Check out This link to Where I Discovered some of this info! HERE

 “‘Our people can be patient for a long time. While Beauty is sleeping, the entire kingdom is also sleeping. If the kingdom is to be woken, the Beauty must be woken”-Metro UK Online News

He does succeed in doing this, the exhibit consists of a room, a bed and a beautiful sleeping woman, all white robes, with flowing white sheets, she sleeps. Viewers of the exhibit enter only if 18 years old and single.

They must sign one of two documents, one to either just observe and not touch or interact with the exhibit, or a contract that bids you a potential kisser. The contract states that if you are to kiss the woman and she opens here eyes, you will be legally obligated to marry her. 

“I describe them in terms of roles — the prince and the beauty. The prince has to think twice because he doesn’t know the essence of the beauty, he just sees the surface, and the beauty is opposite. The beauty doesn’t get to see the prince, but she gets to feel intuitively.”

says Polataiko.

“I root for all of them because they’re really romantic types. They’re really romantic souls,” he said. “It’s magical, and the kind of people it attracted are of that kind. They’re very refined and gentle girls, and they’re smart and beautiful. They actually believe they want to find their true love.”

“If at any time the women feel uncomfortable, they lift their hand to let the security guards handle the situation. There’s also a rule that says no touching”

This reminded me of a previous post of mine that talked about there being NO ROOM FOR FEAR IN ART. First in the sense that He did face social disapproval and persisted to see his vision through, but also in a completely difference sense, the idea that he incorporated the emotion of fear in the experience of his art, along with several other high intensity emotions.

I mean really, this is some heavy stuff, whether the tension is fabricated by the artist who designed the experiment or the participants who volunteer, its real. He went the distance to make this authentic and have the essence of magic.

It is not a traditional method of art, it is not painting or film or theater, it is real, but still acts as a representation for a greater theme. Its bold and questionable in my opinion, so naturally I think its great.

As reported by Metro UK Online NewsThe out come  and how it ended was even more interesting then the experiment. One of the beauties opened her eyes to a woman. 

Gay marriage is not allowed and thus voids the contracts. But the women still think that it was a meaningful coincidence and they intended to get to know each other.

I personally find social experimentation to be an incredibly effective art form. It can potentially become a spectacle due to people interest in social potential, thus forming wide audiences and producing organic truth from designed situations.

I found another great link for people who are more interested in checking out more art and social displays coming from Ukraine. offers a different representation of the country so often talked about in media these days.

Some awesome street art and analysis of the artists intentions are at the link above


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