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Army of Clones

20 plaster sculptures-casts. On 9 June of 2014 a group of pro-Russian terrorists shot at all sculptures, which were exhibited at Izolyatsia Art Centre. All sculptures from the series «Army of Clones» were destroyed. Donetsk, Ukraine, 2010–2014.

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Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
Maria Kulikovska, MKUV studio, ballistic soap sculptures, ukrainian art, ukrainian artists, ukrainian sculpture, crimean artists, queer art, feminist artists, contemporary sculptures, contemporary art, contemporary artists, conceptual art, women artists, art studio, architectural studio, casts, army of clones kulikovska, Donetsk kulikovska, Izolyatsia Art Centre, Gender exhibition, plaster sculptures, buy art, art online, art collections, art collectors, art gallery
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«Army of Clones» is one of the first sculpture series of casts of Maria Kulikovska's body. In 2010-2011, the 20 white plaster sculptures were shown at different places in public space. It was first shown at the territory of Dovzhenko Film Studios during the festival GOGOLFEST'2010.

In spring of 2012, these plaster sculptures were transported to Donetsk, Ukraine, for the exhibition «Gender» organized by Izolyatsia Art Centre. On 9 June of 2014 a group of pro-Russian terrorists shot at all sculptures of Kulikovska, which were exhibited in the territory of Izolyatsia Art Centre. Izolyatsia was captured and looted by the Donetsk People's Republic militants. In an interview with Russian journalist the militants explained their shot at Kulikovska's sculptures as a «shot at sculptures of a degenerative artist».

The 2010 year became the beginning of the artist's research of the body and the borders of it. So the main method and opportunity became the figures-casts of Kulikovska's own body. The body and the boundaries are a dominating aspect of Maria Kulikovska's practice. The body is the main leitmotif of the artist's artwork irrespective of the medium. Creation of the sculpture copies of own body – of the woman-artist's body – is a manifestation of a woman's presence in a context of contemporary art. A presence, which often is outside of the main discourse and need for official theoretical-practical rehabilitation.
Army of Clones was born in 2010, where the sculptures are the replicas of artist's body, problematized the surface of the human body in general, the theme of a skin, the outer covering of the body as the boundary between inside and outside, living and nonliving, as well as the definition of identity. The exact repetition of the person, with its ad nauseam duplicity, cloned, was placed into a world where it went through stages of destruction and death, presenting a "death in one's waking hours". According to the artist, plaster clones could do something that no one can – to provide an opportunity to see the destruction of his/her own body, its after-death state.

What is more Maria was interested in the aspect of frailty of the human's envelope, like that social representation, which completely disappears along with the physical death of the person, and not the repository of the immortal soul at all. Being devoid of color, the "neutral" white sculpture, placed in different environments, was emphasizing some special spiritlessness and moldness of mannequins – it was referring to the working plaster molds, which were not designed for eternity, completeness, significance.

Human individuality, traditionally associated with appearance, is questioned when replicating one's image, cloning it. In essence, the membrane, the skin, which envelops the void – this is the figure of the 'Army of Clones'. This emptiness, unplenitude is highlighted in the "remains" of sculptures, that have been on display in a dilapidated form at various exhibitions. In this regard, the skin – is not just a boundary between who we are and who we are not. On the contrary, skin becomes a body, and we ourselves – become the skin, this is the contact area, and the body, like the skin, is a kingpin in art today. The sculpture, initially understood as a memorial representation, returns to itself in 'Army of Clones' – as an opportunity and necessity to talk about the termination of human existence.

* Oksana Barshynova – an author of the text, art historian, critic, curator of the National Art Museum of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine. Winter 2012.
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