THE RAFT CRIMEA. TRUMPS OF DOOM


September 5, 2016

Visual Culture Research Center and Political Critique invite you to the opening of the exhibition The Raft Crimea. Trumps of Doom by Maria Kulikovska dedicated to the first expedition of the migrant parliament of the displaced The Raft Crimea.The opening will take place on Wednesday, September 7, at 19:00 in Visual Culture Research Center.

Political, or natural, catastrophes, war, poverty, desire for a better life, make people leave their homes and set off into the open sea towards alien shores. Such trip is always risky: its success is incidental – it depends on fate, and, even more so, on support from other people. On August 16 amidst luxurious restaurants and floating hotels a life raft called Crimea floated off from the quay of the Dnipro river in Kyiv. The artist Maria Kulikovska, a former resident of Crimea, lived on the raft. Maria stayed there without any resources, only supported by what passersby shared with her.

On the 19th of August The Raft Crimea put off the capital’s quay and began its Odyssey. Thanks to continuous care, attention, kindness, and generosity of random people, the crew of the Raft reached the Danube mouth.

On Ukrainian-Romanian border the Raft was stopped by the officers of State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. The Raft crew was briefly detained by the Service.

The Raft Crimea’s short return to Kyiv will be followed by its continuous journey along the rivers of Ukraine and Europe, integrating people, met on its way, into the community of solidarity and mutual support.

Exhibition The Raft Crimea. Trumps of Doom  is a story about the journey to the unknown, a story about secrets and mysteries, discoveries, found treasures, unpredictability of fate, and human kindness. This story is dedicated to the bravery of all migrants and the displaced, who are intentionally, or constrainedly, heading towards foreign shores to begin a new life, as well as to all those with an open heart, ready to care about the others.

Curator – Lesia Kulchynska.

The Migrant Parliament of the Displaced: The Raft Crimea is a performance by Maria Kulikovska aimed at reminding us about the vulnerability and helplessness of those, who lost their homes, and calling for solidarity with them. The Raft Crimea is a platform for discussing problems of the displaced and common search for their solutions. It will appear at the esplanades of different cities to indicate the place for a new meeting and assembly by its presence. Thousands of people, who are deprived of their homes, seeking for better life, safety, or simply a possibility of survival, are moving today on boats and rafts to the shores, where no one is neither waiting for them, nor wants to see them. The vast population of the new republic, which is not marked on the map, is drifting on the waves: the phantom republic of migrants. Anyone can become its citizen one day. The Crimea life raft will become its embassy, a displaced parliament for all of those who are devoid of place and political representation.The Migrant Parliament of the Displaced: The Raft Crimea performance is part of the School of Political Performance, collaborative project by Maria Kulikovska and VCRC, and belongs to the parallel program of Sentsov’s Camera exhibition at Leipzig Museum for Contemporary Art.

Maria Kulikovska is a Ukrainian artist and actionist, born in Kerch city in Crimea. She graduated from the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture in Kyiv. Maria is the author of numerous performances, actions and happenings: War and Pea$e(Mariupol, 2016), 9th of May (solo exhibition; London, 2016), 1 May (London, 2016),Happy Birthday (London, 2016), Patience?, #Onvacation (Venice Biennale, 2015),White (2015), Untitled (2014), 254 (2014) are among them.

The School of Political Performance will kick off with its first course on September 5, 2016, becoming a permanent platform for common creation and exchange of experience. Open lectures will be combined with practical exercises, seminars, intensive workshops, collective actions and performances by the participants and lecturers of the school. The students of the School are to form a group of rapid political responsiveness by conducting a series of projects in the public space.