«Art, artist, woman artist - they are beautiful, and also dangerous, first of all, for woman. She should still be quiet and calm, comfortable and beautiful, to decorate the art discreetly, and, at the same time, to stay the decoration. I protest!
This performance is about self-deletion, fear of being invisible, discreet, and, at the same time, about uncomfortable conditions and pain of being exposed to all. This performance is about being an interminable object of estimation and discussion. Apparently, the woman could not be stuck-up and put-on, but being quiet and kind is not really the future. Therefore, you always are imperfect and must be quiet and obedient, if you want to achieve your objective - a comfort being a beautiful object.
My body over the past year has changed and transformed resulting from disease. Stressed situations, depression, fatigues and patriarchy to blame for all these. Yes, patriarchy too: the manipulations and psychological pressure, domestic abuse and fear to talk about it, so as not to lose a place in society.
Therefore I decided to protest.
In winter 2016, I visited Francesca Woodman's exhibition, which was held at the museum of contemporary art in the Swedish city Malmo. During that time I was fighting against depression that has haunted me since the moment I couldn't come to my homeland - to Crimea. I had problems in my private life and I worried about my way as an artist. Very delicate, subtle and, at the same time, very strong photographs of the sensitive girl, who killed herself through social rejection of her artworks at the age of 23, were shown at this exhibition. So, a half-century later, Francesca Woodman was discovered and introduced as something new, ultraradical, modern and relevant.
Walking through exhibition's halls, I sensed pain. Watching the viewers around me, I knew the majority of them were just here to stare at a further pain, epatage, naked body. I wanted to hide and I got under the bench to sit and think about life problems.
No one was paying attention to me.
It was the moment when the idea for my future performance was born. I planned to make the double floor at the gallery space, where I could be while the visitors would see my sculptures. Without being aware of it, they would step on me. I was proposing my performance's idea to many galleries, but no one did not support it. I plucked up courage and told the editors of Vogue UA about my dream and we took the risk. Yes, we weren't able to build the double floor at Bursa Gallery, but we made a special bench for seating as an alternative, in which I was throughout the presentation of the Vogue UA Art Edition. It was very strange at first - I wanted to drop everything and join the event party. Nevertheless I was really glad that I'm attending and simultaneously absent. I'm afraid of public events and I worry when there are a lot of people next to me. This performance was very comfortable for me and I enjoyed it. It was far from simple for my body and sometimes there was fear, panic and questions: «What am I doing here? Why do I throw a party? Who needs it?».
Suddenly, I heard the sound of the man's voice: «Masha, we will get you your Crimea! I promise». It was one of the gallery's visitors, who maybe knew what kind of artist I am. Tears pricked the back of my eyes. I felt sorry for myself and people who lost their home and opportunity to contact their family. I started remembering all the losing, the depression of the last four years, the horrors of war and occupation.
I was lying and crying. My desire to climb out the box and to mention my voice has increased steadily. The lack of air, humidity, and water evaporation from my soap sculptures made me mad. I started to listen to people's words. Someone understood that I'm in a box. I was happy about it. I felt very strongly supported by visitors.
When I climbed out from the bench, all the viewers gathered about my sculptures. I exchanged a look with Venia Brykalin (a stylist and editor of Vogue UA). He felt my shyness. I was dizzy, but the look of Venia's face gave me strong impetus. I'd finally seen the beautiful people's faces near me. They looked at me gently and friendly. I thought they just climbed out of the box together with me...». *Maria Kulikovska's commentary for Vogue UA.