Maria Kulikovska was born 1988 in Kerch, Ukraine, now occupied territory by the state of Russia 2014. And this text will present some examples of Maria’s sculptural works and ongoing projects.

Start to express her ideas in the classic forms of fine art with her first exhibitions in 2003, throughout her artistic life she has moved to a much more spontaneous and contemporary analytical expressions. The nucleus of Maria Kulikovska’s work is her own body, as a material for expressing a common reality about the Body, its present form, transformation and decay. Or putting her self in the situation of a voice, acting out theatrically explosive performances, “Untitled” (in Bottega gallery) to sculpture parks of heavy artwork.

The two projects, “Army of clones”, 2010 (20st full size body sculptures) and its continuum in “Homo Bula”, 2012 (sensual full body sculpture made from natural soap). Both of these sculpture projects where destroyed by occupation forces in Izolyatsia, Donetsk (summer 2014), theses projects have after the event continued as sensual yet subtle expression decoding our most violent history against the human, in several exhibitions in Europe.

Through her engagement in the study in National Academia of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kiev 2013 in which she achieved a master diploma in fine arts and architecture, her idea of her body transformed into architectural structures made from natural materials, with great importance to our civilization. Life begins with milk, so Maria made a crumbling house from brick made by sugar and milk, “Sweet/ss (Swiss) Life” in Uster, Switzerland, 2012. Deconstructing and reconstructing the foundation of the architectural body, in an exhibition 2013, she sculptures pillars. Pillars made form salt, one of our founding civilizations most commodities and indicator of wealth, the pillars of our economy. Civilizations was built upon salt, salt pillars, that Maria later destroy with sledge hammer, as so many pillar been destroyed through out history by the hand of man.

The political reality of Ukraine led Maria to seek solidarity in Europe, where she meets Jacqueline Shabo in an art exchange. The walls created by west Europe and love, spurred an idea in her mind of a silent, slow growing performance that has a beginning but no end, by marriage by law to Jacqueline Shabo (Swedish artist) and becoming the first woman to be in a same sex marriage in Ukraine. A marriage and art projects that by life itself deconstruct perceptions of reality, becoming in the eyes of the beholder, individual preconceptions, fears, struggles, knowing or not knowing of the reality behind the marriage, “Bodies and Borders”, 2014. This performance was not more than a couple of days old, when life got turned upside down by the invasion and later annexation of the area of Crimea, where she was born.

The pain of the dark situation that she and her family were living affects the expression of her art. The in your face expressive ness became more radical but gentile and subtle in it beauty. Maria wrote an open letter, letting Manifesta Biennale in St. Petersburg know that she would not accept the invitation to participate in the pending biennale, weeks after this letter the process creation of a new sculpture started, the before naked in your face body sculptures became covered, in the Action performance “254” (254 is the nr that Maria got when Ukraine had to give her refugee status because of her birth region was no longer part of Ukraine). On the marmor steps of Manifesta main hall in Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Maria lay covered under the Ukraine Flag for 45 minutes before police came. This Performance later became a Sculpture with the same name, and was made and exhibited in Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw Poland, 2014.

In line with her ongoing feministic performance with “Body and Boarders” and her experience of lecturing and teaching everything from children, students to open sculpture workshops and lectures. In 2015 Maria again started to teach sculpture and inspire other to used there voice through art, and founded the art collective “Flowers of Democracy” with the purpose of de mystifying the fear of female body and celebrating the women’s important role, made invisible part of democracy, and in fight for democracy. The collective produced hundreds of plaster vaginas (Flowers) that where exposed in public group actions in several Ukrainian cities and created short term public sculpture park, where their flowers of democracy could be seen. Many reactions in all direction created a strong understanding of the need for more of actions like these, and at the time this is being written new action of flowers of democracy are being planed.

 Written by B.R. 



Since 2013 – Master of Architecture and Fine Arts

Since spring 2017 – Founder and curator of non-governmental international culture platform “School of Political Performance”



2016-2017 – Post Graduate course “Modernist legacies, constructions of whiteness and swedishness” in Royal Institute of Fine Arts in Stockholm, Sweden

Summer 2016 – Summer Institute of politics, social, democracy and conflicts studies, Augsburg University, Augsburg, Germany  

Summer 2015 – Summer Academy of Goethe-Institute, Kiev, Colon, Dresden, Koln

From 2013 — Master of Architecture and Fine Arts, Lector, Researcher

From 2007 — 2013 student of the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, Kyiv, Ukraine

From 2003 — 2007 student of College of Building, Design and Architecture, Kiev, Ukraine


Selected Exhibitions and Art Projects

  • Summer 2017 – permanent sculpture project “Memento Mori” in public park, Lviv, Ukraine
  • 16.05-19.06.2017 – solo exhibition “The Folds”, Port Creative Hub, Kiev, Ukraine
  • May 2017 – presentation sculptural performance project “Folds” during Kiev Art Week, Toronto Business Center, Kiev, Ukraine
  • October 2016 – presentation sculptural project “Homo Bulla”, National Museum of Sculpture “Krolikarnia”, Warsaw, Poland
  • 07.09-25.09.2016 – solo exhibition about “The Raft CrimeA. Trumps of Doom”, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 05.09-10.09.2016 – first education course of new project “School of Political Performance”, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 16.08-19.08.2016 – start of the project “The Raft CrimeA”, Dnipro River, Kiev, UA, Vilkovo, UA
  • 09.05.2016 – solo exhibition “9th of May”, Art Represent, London, UK
  • February 2016 – “Scars”, sculptures, Kiev’s Museum of Russian Arts, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 14.02.2016 – performance “Kiss Me”, Aids Foundation of Olena Pinchuk, Mystetskiy Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine
  • October 2015 – January 2016 – assistant of Peter Johansson for the show in Borås Museum of Contemporary Art, Sweden
  • 23.11.2015 – performance “Happy Birthday”, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
  • 2015 – Homo Bulla. (replica), finalist of UK/Raine, first ever open competition for all emerging artists from the UK and Ukraine, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
  • October 2015 – “Casts”, soap sculptures, moldings of own body in the group show “What I have from women”, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2015.08.02/2015.11.09/1.05.2016 — on-going performance «Flowers of Democracy», Zhovten Cinema, Kiev, Ukraine; Passage (shopping mall), City Hall, The alley of Greatest Leaders of Dnepropetrovsk, Ex-Library (nowadays center of ultra rights group), Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine; London City, UK
  • 2015 — participant of study program «Mosaic of the City» and about public art and participatory art by CCA, Ukraine, and «Summer Academy» by Goethe Institute, Germany
  • 2015 — «No Questions/Body and Borders#3″, presentation of project Kulikovska-Shabo in the curatorial show «Philosophy of Migration», Museum of Heritage of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 09.05.2015 — participant of gorillas performance #onvacation in Russian Pavilion of Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
  • 01.05.2015 — «White» – performance against Russia aggression to Ukraine, against annexation of Krym, 1 of May, Krym bridge, Moscow-river, Moscow, Russia.
  • 2015 — «Heart of a Dog/Body and Borders#2» by Kulikovska-Shabo group, solo show, installations, sculpture, performance, curator of open call for female artist, Verkligheten, Umeå, Sweden
  • 2015 — To Be or not to Be”, video, performance, presented in the «Fokus 2015″ OPEN CALL PRISUDDELING», Nicolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, Dannmark
  • 2014 – participant of «Body Protest –The Body in Political Activism» – presentation of political art, political protests, raising issues of human rights, organized by students of the University of Malmo, Department of Human Rights and the Study Conflicts in Mellem Rummet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2014 – «Untitled», group show «Give Me Tomorrow», Bottega-gallery, Shcherbenko Art Centre, Institute of Problems of Contemporary Art, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2014 – «Untitled», group show «Through Maidan and Beyond», Architekturzentrum Wien, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna Art Week, Austria
  • 2014 – «Untitled», street action of support Ukrainian people who protect their life and fight for their freedom and peace, against Russian aggression and against selling weapons from France to Russia, the festival of political performance «Péril Jeune», art centre «Confluences — lieu d’engagement artistique», Boulevard Sharon, Paris
  • 2014 – «Untitled», group show «Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now», Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
  • 2014 – «254» Sculpture in group show “Postcards from Maidan,” Curator Lesya Prokopenko, Marek Goździewski Kyiv Platform for Contemporary Art, Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
  • 2014 – «to Be or not to Be», group video showing of video art «Art for Freedom», Saakashvili Presidential Library, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • 2014 – “254”, Unauthorized performance in  “Manifesta10” in, General StaffHermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia, with support of IZOLYATSIA.
  • 2014 – “Body and Borders”, video, HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014 – “Body and Borders”, video, Bottega-gallery, Art Vilnius
  • 2014 – “Untitled”, installation, home used textile, meat, Art Vilnius
  • 2014 – “Body and Borders”, installation of “Kulikovska–Shabo Group” in group show “Cultural Capital”, Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden, Center For Art And Urbanistics ZK/U, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013-2014 – “Body and Borders” – Ukrainian — Sweden group project, marriage as an art project, happening, performance, in an artistic group Kulikovska – Shabo, with support of “IZOLAYTSIA” (foundation of contemporary art, Donetsk, Ukraine)
  • 2014 — “To Be or not to Be”, video, performance, presented in the NYC Kinofest, Ukrainian Institute of America, New York, USA
  • 2014 – “Body and Borders”, installation in a group show as Kulikovska–Shabo group, Bildmuseet, Umeo, Sweden
  • 2014 – “To Be or not to Be”, video, performance in group show “And Now? Power of Art”, Lavra-gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2014 – “Extrusion”, sculpture from animal fat in group show “Independent Square”, Yarmilov Art Centre, Kharkov, Ukraine
  • 2013 – “Marketable Condition”, video in special project of Scherbenko Art Centre for Kiev Art Fair’2013, Mystetskiy Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2013 – “Soma” sculpture, salt, personal project was nominee for the Pinchuk Art Prize, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2013 – “Untitled”, solo show, performance, Bottega Gallery
  • 2013 – “Madonna with Child”, painting, Special project of Vienna Art Fair, Vienna, Austria
  • 2013 – RutaRuna Project for young artists from Ukraine and Sweden, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev Ukraine, Sigtuna Folkhogskola, Sigtuna, Sweden
  • 2013 – curator of international feminist camp “FROG”, Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine
  • 2013 – “Where the wind blows” installation, in group show «Orientation on the Ground«,  National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2013 – “Army of Clones.2” installation in a group project, “Beautiful”, RuArts-Foundation for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
  • 2013 – “Untitled” installation in a group project “Introversion”, Center of Contemporary Art “M17”, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2013 — performance in public space (in the showcase gallery wine “Wein & Co”), Uster, Switzerland
  • 2012 – “SWEET/SS LIFE” (sweet/swiss life) — personal project, as a winner of the international competition of non-profit organizations AKKU-verein Kunstleratelier, and the Department of Culture in Uster, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012 – “HOMO BULLA”, site-specific personal project, “IZOLATSIA”, Donetsk, Ukraine
  • 2012 – “Untitled”, Third Moscow Biennale of Young Contemporary: “Under the Sun of Tinsel”, special project, Moscow, Russia
  • 2012 – “Music of the Unextracted Sounds”, performance, site-specific project at the Institute of Building Structures and Materials, personal project of the winner of the open competition “In Search of Spaces of Negotation” foundation CSM, a special project of the first Ukrainian Biennale of Contemporary Art “Arsenalle”
  • 2012 – “Gender”, group curatorial project, “IZOLATSIA”, Donetsk, Ukraine
  • 2011 – “Koan” series of paintings in the facility, a group project, “Did Painting Die?”, M17 Contemporary Art Center, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2011 – “Sleep”, video, group project «Habitat», Bottega-gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2011 – “Bounty” installation, video art, group curatorial project “Independent”, Museum of Contemporary Art “Art Arsenal” Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2011 – “Pandora”, installation, personal special project, “Mukhi’2011”, Bottega-gallery, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2011 – “Pisanky” feminist protest project (Installations) in the group curatorial project “Collective Dreams”, Bottega-gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2010 – “Army of Clones” (site-specific project) personal project within the international festival of contemporary visual art GogolFest’10, Studio Dovgenko, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2010 — Finalist of the contest “Mukhi 2010” initiated by Bottega-gallery and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2010 – “Untitled”, video art, contemporary art week, “Weekend Gallery”, Berlin, Germany
  • 2009 – “Untitled” land-art facility, International Festival of land art “Mifogenez” Vinnitsa, Ukraine
  • 2008 — Finalist “Creative Youth Forum”, gallery “Ra”, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2006 – “First Solo Exhibition”, center of Ukrainian political organization “Prosvita”, Kyiv, Ukraine.


Architectural and Design Practice:

  • 2016 – design of private villa, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2014 – design and architecture control of realization of private apartment, Kiev, Ukraine
  • January-February 2013 — an architectural practice in urban architectural company «ASA AG», Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012 – «Myth: Ukrainian Baroque» Architect of exhibition space of National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 2013 – «International Seaport Kerch», Master diploma, design of architecture project, The National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2012 – “Techno-Land. Museum of Technic”, design of architecture project in competition of ideas for revitalization of old, abandoned territory with coal’s heaps in the Donetsk region, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2012 – «Social Kindergarten», proposition of architecture project of the social kindergarten and preschool in the suburb of Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2011 – «Social housing», proposition of urban architectural project, design and modeling new area for social living space in Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2011 – Main architect and designer of Shcherbenko Art Centre (SHCHAC), architecture controll during the realization of this building Kyiv, Ukraine 
  • 2010-2011, BA diploma «Museum of the History of Kiev», The National Museum of Fine Arts and Architecture, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2009-2010, design and realization of the architectural project of private villa, Kiev, Ukraine


Teaching Experience:

  • 2017 – series of lectures and master-class “Body and Borders”, School of Political Performance, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2016 – master class and presentation of School of Political Performance, Spineriet, Malmo, Sweden
  • 2016 – series lectures “School of Political Performance” for students, activists and artists about human rights, protest art and about own experience as an artist, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2016 – series lectures “School of Political Performance” for students, activists and artists about human rights, protest art and about own experience as an artist, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2015 – series lectures for students, activists and artists about human rights, protest art and about own experience as an artist in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
  • 2014 – guest teacher for students in Glokala folkhögskolan, Malmö, Sweden
  • 2013-2014 – teacher of visual culture of contemporary art for children in the PinchukArtCenter, Kiev, Ukraine
  • 2013 – teacher of own program of media-art in IZOLYATSIA, foundation of contemporary art and cultural, Donetsk, Ukraine
  • 2010-2011 – curator and teacher of contemporary art for children in Bottega-gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
  • Since 2009 – 2013 started as curator and teacher of visual culture of contemporary art for children in private school «Creative Studio», Kiev, Ukraine