«Flowers» is the art project presenting works by Swedish artist Alexandra Larsson Jacobson in dialogue with Maria Kulikovska's artworks, who created them together with her husband, architect-engineer Uleg Vinnichenko and director Aline Gontar. Representatives of two different yellow-blue countries – neoliberal Sweden and still quite patriarchal Ukraine – have been exploring the notion of the human shell as a metaphor for socio-political relationships in society for more than a year. The figurative and semantic content of the exhibition is centered around the Body-Skin-Shell-Membrane-Skin-Woman complex concept proposed by the authors. The project name also contains the semantic ambiguity of the Russian word tsvety, which is in harmony with the word colors. The artists offer their own interpretation of femininity in relation to personal inner traumas and society, power and boundaries, motherhood and its absence.
For two years, Alexandra has been photographing flowers that fade, rot, wither – just cut off, but already dying. She started this series at the time she gave birth to a baby. Initially these photos were a kind of reflection on the transformation of her life and body, a new status in society, as well as a kind of subconscious psychological therapy and a way to break free from internal fears and memory injuries.
Maria Kulikovska's works lead the viewer into a constructed reality where the body, sensuality, sincerity, ferocity, femininity, new identity and heroism are overcome by childhood traumas, fears and conflicts generated by the turbulent world. Watercolor paintings bleeding on old paper for architectural drawings, busts of an artist made of ballistic soap and flowers, a video where Maria shoots herself and wanders nude in the woods. The artist invites to her inner world and offers to share her personal trauma. The one from which she escapes into her own forest of flowers, while exposing carefully hidden skeletons in the cabinets of the viewer and society.
The opening of this exhibition took place on 6 December, 2019, - on the very day of the birthday of Maria Kulikovska's father, who lives on the Edge of the Earth, and also on the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.