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Sleeping Beauty, 2005

Claudia Hart and Michael Ferraro Joint Project: Sleeping Beauty, 2005

Sleeping Beauty is an interactive odalisque, using a projected 3D animation that responds to a viewer's presence. Portraying the compressed time and space of painting, Sleeping Beauty shows a dreaming character whose slow, drowsy movements articulate all of the minutia of a single moment. This “painting” is life-sized in scale, constructing a representation that is more personae, penetrating a viewer's space whose actions may awaken her. When awakened, Beauty opens her eyes to gaze at the viewer, in a moment of transformation, allowing the object of our gaze to subject us to hers.

Based loosely on works such as Titian's Venus and paintings by the Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens, Sleeping Beauty is meant to introduce direct sensuality into the virtual realm, but employing an idea of beauty defined by a woman rather than men in which the subject does not express conventional canons of body and facial type. In so doing Sleeping Beauty inverts the typical 3D character-based animations of interactive gaming, not just through its visual language buy by also rejecting their violence and aggressive speed. By implicating viewers through involving them in the interactive process, Sleeping Beauty rejects the voyeurism of the historical odalisque and is sensual rather than pornographic. The agenda of Sleeping Beauty therefore, is to intentionally redefine the cliché, misogynist representations such as commercial gaming characters like Blood Rayne and Lara Croft.