«Soma – Body without Gender» art project is a clear reference to Kulikovska's performative installation «Sweet/Swiss Life», presented in Uster, Switzerland. «Soma – Body without Gender» is the 27 salt pillars, created by Maria Kulikovska in collaboration with her mother. This sculptural project was nominated for a PinchukArtCentre Prize 2013.
«Soma – Body without Gender» is an artistic landscape of continual breakdown. Some pillars fell and broke down, some of them became stronger and harder. The sculpture installation of Maria Kulikovska is a continuation of the artist's work with an architectural basis – pillars-symbols of vertical hierarchical sculpture. Representing the vertical of authority to be deconstruction, Kulikovska asked about a need for horizontal restructuring of society, which eliminates any kind of hierarchy.
«The pillar is a main architectural construction element, the body of the structure of society. However, the vertical hierarchical structure of the contemporary world is crumbling and drives to destroying and increasing humanitarian catastrophe, – Maria Kulikovska explained. – The pillar as a symbol of verticality, power and eternity, a symbol of civilization, the patriarchal structure of this world cannot handle the burden. So it is falling apart. On the other side, some pillars of humanity became stronger and infallible».
«Soma – Body without Gender» is closely related to Kulikovska's sculpture installation «Sweet/Swiss Life» inside a clear cube of the gallery in the park of Uster, Switzerland. But as opposed to the «sweet» blocks of «Sweet/Swiss Life», the material of the blocks of «Soma – Body without Gender» is determined by local context – Ukrainian salt. Moreover, the Greek word «soma» means all body's cells without sex organs, so without gender identification. The blocks of the sculpture installation «Soma – Body without Gender» were of equal height, but they're all different, like an individual unit of society.
* based on the text from the exhibition «From Action to Performative Sculpture: Maria Kulikovska» at the Shcherbenko Art Centre, Kyiv, 2020.