CURRENT ISSUE | SPRING 2017: STRUCTURES
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Artist

Taras Polataiko

Taras Polataiko

Born in 1966 in Ukraine. Based in part in Lethbridge.

Taras Polataiko a Ukrainian-Canadian artist known for provocative performances, paintings and films in which he tests the boundaries of mediums, histories and social norms. Following the attainment of his undergraduate degree in Moscow, he moved to Canada to undertake an MFA at the University of Saskatchewan, graduating in 1993. In his early career, he performed as a living monument to unrecognized Ukrainian-Canadians and also created a work where his blood, intentionally exposed to radiation at Chernobyl, became the central component in a sculptural installation. Paintings in the mid 1990s reproduced magazine photos of Kasimir Malevich works. More recent pieces include Kyiv Classical (2008), a film documenting his quest for a disappeared historic plaque commemorating the banning of the Ukrainian language, and Sleeping Beauty (2012), which reenacted the fairy tale in a manner that required any “awakened” beauties to marry the stranger who kissed them, bringing worldwide media attention to his practice. Polataiko teaches at the University of Lethbridge while continuing to exhibit nationally and internationally.

Photo of Taras Polataiko’s Sleeping Beauty (2012) © Taras Polataiko