Flowers of Democracy. Part 1. Pink Pussy How To.
Preparation for a site-specific action around the building of the cinema «Zhovten». Kyiv, Ukraine, 2015.
In autumn 2010, Maria Kulikovska created the series of the plaster sculptures-molds of her own vulva — «Pysanky», which were used as major elements of the arch-shaped installation at Shcherbenko Art Centre and, later, at the group exhibition at Modern Art Research Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2015-2016, surviving sculptural molds became the objects-spreading within the project «Flowers of Democracy».
«Flowers of Democracy» is a long-term artistic and feminist movement that was began by Maria Kulikovska in the summer of 2015 and which is still continuing. Within this project several actions were organized, the main characters of which became «pysanky».
In 2014, the building of the cinema «Zhovten» in Kyiv was set on fire by activists during the showing of the queer movie. In the summer of 2015, the first action of the «Flowers of Democracy» movement took place around this cinema building. Maria Kulikovska and other members of the movement have hung the plaster vulva's molds — «pysanky» — on the fence of the enclosed territory of the partially destroyed building. The action was not over, guards of the restoration works confiscated the pink «pysanky» of the «Flowers of Democracy» group without possibility of returning them.
«Flowers of Democracy» is an open discourse about a woman: her situation in times of war conflict, her social position in the political, economic and artistic hierarchies. «Flowers of Democracy» became the movement of women, who transmit the feminist massage, and the pink vulva as a recognition sign-symbol was and is to constant remind everyone that the tabulated female body must be free of borders of the oppression and prohibitions imposed by patriarchal system.
A complementary binding attribute of the «Flowers of Democracy» actions became the T-shirts with the vulva's print, handmade by Maria Kulikovska using silkscreen printing. The Ukrainian artist used one of these T-shirts in her solo performance «Happy Birthday» at Saatchi Gallery in London in 2015. The artist hung the black T-shirt over the green sculpture's head, which was furiously and impotently destroyed with a hammer during Kulikovska's performance. This gesture was a symbol of continuation of the «Flowers of Democracy» movement and at the same time was a sign of the performance's ending.