Photo of the performance "Happy Birthday" at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK.
BACKGROUND "Happy Birthday" was an unauthorized action during the opening of the Ukrainian-British contest UK/RAINE, in which Maria participated with 30 other artists from Ukraine and Great Britain at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK. The concept of the exhibition was centered around the geopolitical events and turbulences that happened in Ukraine seven years ago and are still present.
Maria Kulikovska presented three soap sculptures that she destroyed during a performance at the exhibition opening with a hammer. For this exhibition, she made replicas of the sculptures "Homo Bulla – Human as a Soap Bubble" previously exhibited in the Platform for Cultural Initiatives IZOLYATSIA in 2012. This performance was an artist's reaction to their destruction by prorussian militants. Usually, the same soap Maria uses for sculptures is used to test weapons because its consistency corresponds to the consistency of the human body.
At the time of the annexation of her native home, the Crimean Peninsula, the artist became a mediator of events taking place in Ukraine. She used art as a tool for spreading the information in the international context. The opening of the exhibition coincided with the birthday of the artist's mother to whom Maria could not call, because at that time the Crimean peninsula was completely cut off from the Internet, TV, mobile connection as well as from electricity and water resources.
At the end of this performance, the artist placed T-shirt that is also a flag of "Flowers of Democracy" feminist movement on one of the sculptures.
ABOUT ARTIST Maria Kulikovska is an Ukrainian-Swedish multimedia artist, architect, actionist-performer, researcher and lecturer in exile. She was born and grew up in Kerch on the edge of the Crimea peninsula, where she cannot return since the illegal annexation of the peninsula by Russia. The artist explores the transformation of her own body, watches the vulnerability of her body, and actively creates preconditions for feminist and queer discourses. Creativity of Maria Kulikovska is a radical combination of performances and sculptures, watercolors and old papers, physicality and substance, destruction and creation, complex symbols and understandable metaphors, powerlessness of screaming and power of material, weakness or careful and total.
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