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254. Act of Solidarity

Performance 254 at the public space of Baku, as part of the group show «The Fog of War», Goethe Center Baku, Baku, Azerbaijan

Curated by Alfons Hug
October, 2022
The show was presented in Azerbaijan, Baku and Tiflis, and Almaty. And Maria's 254. Act of Solidarity performance was reproduced by activists in those cities.
254 is Maria Kulikovska's number as a registered refugee from the occupied Crimea since 2014.

«254. Act of Solidarity» is a reenactment of Maria Kulikovska's performance «254. Action» that was held during the opening of the biennale of contemporary art Manifesta'10 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in July 2014. At that time, the artist was laying on the stairs of the museum in the wounded soldier position, covered by the Ukrainian flag. The performance ended with the short-term arrest of Maria Kulikovska, as a result of which the Ukrainian artist was added to the list of banned artists in Russia.

The war. The war's duration and consequences. The destructive inhumane nature of war. The war is one of the main issues of Maria Kulikovska's creativity. Inability to come back and to lead artistic activity in native Kerch town was plunged into the artist's skin, it made hundreds of scars. It still makes the senses of Kulikovska's identity bleed. The lack of "alive" place on the artist's body-memory became one of the reasons for the reaction and creation of the artistic actions and performative sculptures. For the artist, they are the method of react, fight, heal, exempt, identify, return.

«254» is a long-term art project of Maria Kulikovska, in which were created two sculptures-molds of the artist's body in the lying-down position. In 2018, the artist created a series of silkscreen prints on the basis of photographic documentation of the «254. Action».