My Second Xena I
First sculptural copy of Maria Kulikovska's body. The figure was created in the basement of the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 2010.
«My Second Xena I» is the first sculptural copy of Maria Kulikovska's body. The figure was created in 2010 in the basement of the National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. The sculpture was represented in the competition of Young Ukrainian Artists (MUHi 2010), resulting of which Maria Kulikovska became part of the group exhibition for the first time. «My Second Xena I» became the beginning of the artist's research of her own body, her physicality, her understanding of who she is and her self-perception as a human and woman.
The name of this artwork is related to the first name, which Maria Kulikovska has received from her mother at the time of birth, - Xena. The artist didn't know about this until just before 2010 year. It promoted Kulikovska to start looking for the identity through sculpture practice. After the creation of the sculpture, the artist has been able to consider herself fully first. She has been able to see different sides of herself, physicality invisible.
At that time, Maria Kulikovska studied architecture at the National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture in Kyiv, where the majority of teachers were men, who were skeptical about the experiments of the girls in the group. This was the time, when at the Academy it was believed, that the professional women sculptors don't exist. This partly explains Kulikovska's sculptures and her wish to protest. The replicas of the artist's body give her a field for discussion concerning the woman's position in contemporary society.
Maria Kulikovska's first education as an architect has led to an integrated approach to work with sculpture. The artist always considered the architecture as a shell, membrane, body of the space, public body, society body, social body, which had led a human existence. The base of the working with space planning Maria Kulikovska always concentrated around working with the body. The sculpture-mold «My Second Xena I» became the point of return research of the body as an architectural unit. Creating copies of own body, the artist wants to separate from herself and see herself from different sides. Moreover, she wants to track the borders of the internal and external boundaries and to see how the body will interact with space. The process of casting from Kulikovska's body and working with a human's shell is an endless creativity-as-a-research by Kulikovska. She's still creating new forms for the monitoring and tracking the transformation of her body.