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EDITIONS
Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 08:23 GMT 09:23 UK
Bed art promotes 'safe sex'
Max Whatley and Meg Zakreta in No Inhibitions
Max Whatley and Meg Zakreta have been a couple for three years
A young couple are to spend a week in bed in the window of a London art gallery to reinforce the importance of safe sexual practice in the fight against sexually transmitted disease.

The project called No Inhibitions, by artist Liam Yeates, requires estate agent Max Whatley, 24 and nanny Meg Zakreta, 22, to sprawl on a double bed in full view of the public.

They will eat, sleep, and even make love, as people wander past the Blink Gallery in Soho, central London.


This sort of thing lets the barbarians in

Robert Whelan, Civitas
Alongside the installation will be a full condom machine, to drive home the message of Mr Yeates' work.

"Sex in 2002 is terrifying but amazing," said the artist.

"HIV and Aids are an increasing threat, but we live in a society that is more open and sexualised than ever.

"The work is meant to make people sit up and take notice of this new sexual revolution."

Mr Yeates, 31, added that he was making a comment on people's obsession with reality TV and voyeurism.

But a thin curtain will be drawn around the bed if the pair decide to make love.

'Bad taste'

The couple, who have been together for three years, said they thought taking part would be a good way to decide whether or not to move in with each other.

Mr Whatley said: "For us, the highs and lows of this experience are in the outcome.

Artist Liam Yeates
Mr Yeates previously staged strip chess in Selfridges' window

"Either we will decide to live together - and that will be brilliant - or we will decide we can't live together, which would be disastrous."

But Dr Adrian Rogers, former director of the Conservative Family Institute, called the exhibition "extremely low culture and bad taste".

"The message itself is rather lost - the message about condoms being the best, if not very good, protection against HIV and Aids," he added.

And Robert Whelan, deputy director of the cultural think-tank Civitas call the installation "a sign of the degeneration and decadence of culture".

"Culture is meant to transmit the highest ideals from one generation to the next.

"This sort of thing lets the barbarians in," he said.

The artist, who is part of a group called the Ministry of Fun, has been involved in many other live art projects, including strip chess in the widow of Selfridges' department store, also in central London.

See also:

08 May 02 | Entertainment
09 Feb 01 | Entertainment
23 Sep 00 | Entertainment
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