«Homo Bulla – Human as Soap Bubble» is the sculptural triptych of Kulikovska's body, which was installed on the territory of Izolyatsia Art Centre in Donetsk. The sculptures became the shooting target for militants, along with «Army of Clones», and were destroyed on 9 May of 2014.
«Homo Bulla – Human as Soap Bubble» was the beginning of the artist's work with the vanitas tradition. An image of a soap bubble was used by Kulikovska as an analogy to transience of human life. A senselessness of existence displayed in skull images, and nonstop speed of drying of plucking flowers from the still life of the Baroque period Kulikovska has transformed to soap sculptures. The figures-casts transform and are destroyed under the influence of the weather conditions that could eventually wipe them out*.
A few years later, Maria Kulikovska wrote in the master's thesis: «The idea to create the sculpture-copies of my own body from soap or plaster and to exhibit in the public spaces vulnerable from wind, rain, snow, heat, is the revival of the metaphorical image of vanitas tradition: Human as soap bubble – Remember about death. My purpose is to remind myself and other people that the human body is a very fragile and open shell, which can die at any moment. Moreover, I continued my study of how the naked woman's body will be perceived by society. It grows old, deforms, suffers, breaks and dies under the influence of different weather conditions. But the war totally put it off: «the woman» has been taken prisoner and destroyed, the art has become the place of exile, the artists have become the enemies of the people and the society fell off the gup in the gray area between East and West. For the past five years, my art has tried to find and realize itself in a global society. It's looking for an identity, it solves national and language questions, it's looking for a home and asks itself throughout the time: «Who am I?». This instability and my constant search for transformation has always stayed in my artistic practice».
* based on the text from the exhibition «From Action to Performative Sculpture: Maria Kulikovska» at Shcherbenko Art Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2020.