The exhibition is titled ‘9th of May’, in references Victory Day, a holiday marking the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union. In 2015, the Ukrainian government approved a package of laws on “decommunisation” in an effort to re-write an official version of Ukrainian 20th century history that’s separated from Russia. The laws ban Nazi and Communist symbols; and they replaced the Soviet term “Great Patriotic War” with the European Second World War.
For Maria, the idea of celebrating victory over fascism is a facade and a propaganda tool to inflate a sense of nationalism in order to cover up the current authoritarian dictatorship in Crimea and other occupied territories of Ukraine by Russian State.
The 9th of May exhibition will feature a series of sculptures, ceramics and sketches to show the fragile relationship between the human body and the external context of war. For this exhibition, Kulikovska has recreated sculpture pieces from previous bodies of work, which the artist regards a poetic extension of her own corporeal body. Sculptures from Homo Bulla, 254, and Flowers of Democracy, which were originally created and destroyed by the war, will now be re-birthed and reclaimed as a message of hope and action.
The artist sees this two-part project as a celebration of the power of art. “Marcel Duchamp once claimed, “I don’t believe in art, I believe in artists.” But I believe in art more than artists.” – Maria Kulikovska.