Like millions of Ukrainians, Maria Kulikovska was forced to leave the country in March 2022, fleeing to Austria with her 6-month-old daughter. There has been no safe place in Ukraine since 24 February as every home is a target. Thus, Maria lost her home to Russian invaders for the second time. With the support of the curators Rainald Schumacher, Nathalie Hoyos and Dr. Alfred Weidinger, the Director of Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz, Maria continued her artistic practices, preparing for the big solo exhibition. During the residency in Gmunden, the artist started to work on a project The Table of Negotiations. The difference between the life of the resisting country, where everything has been immediately set on the war rails and the peaceful European cities were dramatic. Spring 2022 was marked by the debates, held by European intellectuals on how Ukraine should reconcile with Russia and fulfill the aggressor's requirements. The Absurdness of these claims became obvious after the genocide evidence was revealed in Irpin, Bucha, Borodyanka, Izium, and other cities.
The Table of Negotiations is a ceramic entity of limbs, torn bodies, and bruised flesh, symbolically stretching from the East to the last point, visible on the Western horizon. The table is covered by the body juices, ichor, blood, and flowers, made by the female refugees. Suffering fills the artwork over the limit, which makes the pain emit light, shining through the physical materials of the installation. And this is the same pain of resistance, that is connected by its very essence with the knowledge of final overcoming of the challenge — tortured, but unbend; of passing through the battlefield — as a warrior, not as a saint.