Forget feminism — the fairytale dies hard. This week, the United Kingdon will shut down while the Queen's grandson takes a spouse in anticipation of their living happily ever after. The world is watching, anxiously, trying to live the dream by proxy. As some are trying to guess which royal horses will have the once-in-a-lifetime honor of pulling the Glass Coach, others are stocking up on Kate Middleton and Prince William's souvenir condoms.
Artists, too, have yielded to the general hysteria. For her first show in the U.K., American food artist Jennifer Rubell invited the audience to stand arm-in-arm with a wax model of the prince and slip on a replica of the now ubiquitous sapphire ring attached to his forearm. The piece was fun, and meant to be so, but it also cringingly highlighted how deeply engrained is the idea that the best thing that can happen to a woman is to marry a wealthy, well-educated (and ideally famous) man.
A hundred days before the ceremony, the performance put on by artist collective I. Rene (Sarah Cockings, Briony Clarke, and Leena Kangaskoki) critiqued, or drew on, the same it-could-have-been-me syndrome. Thirteen young ladies, all sporting a handmade imitation of the navy blue dress worn by Kate for the engagement announcement, herded in front of Buckingham Palace. "I'm Kate," they shouted at bemused passers-by. "It's wonderful to meet you."
Perhaps because the topic wasn't that much of a leap from her usual faux paparazzi photos, the mischievous Alison Jackson produced one of the best contributions to what will soon be known as — urghh — "royal wedding art." Her series of spoofs, currently on show at London's Ben Brown gallery, depict (with uncannily convincing lookalikes) the Windsors in full royal party mode: Kate in sexy underwear trying on the crown, Prince Charles rocking the dance floor with Lady Gaga, and Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsea getting frisky in Westminster Abbey. "It's poignant to exhibit these before the wedding," gallery director Brown has said. And at £15,000 ($24,480) a pop for an edition of three, it's rather good business too.
If all this makes you nauseous, grab a one of artist Lydia Leith's royal wedding barf bags. Yes, barf bags. After all, it's no more incongruous than a royal wedding rubber. "Throne Up," announce Leith's bags in a beautifully retro font. "Keep Handy on April 29th." And those rendered even more unstable can calm their nerves by smashing up Rachael House's Will-and-Kate-shaped piñatas until the honeymooning couple retires from view — at long last.