Maria Kulikovska is a multimedia artist, architect, actionist-performer, researcher, and lecturer. She was born in 1988 in Kerch, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine. She has lived and worked in Kyiv, Stockholm, and Linz in exile since Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in spring 2014.
Kulikovska received a master’s degree at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (2007-2013) in Kyiv, Ukraine, and she also holds a second master’s degree from Konstfack University, Stockholm, Sweden. Kulikovska first worked as an architect in China and Switzerland, but soon she became an internationally acclaimed performance artist and sculptor. In 2010 and 2012, the artist made one of her most important and powerful art projects titled “Army of Clones” and “Homo Bulla – Human as Soap Bubble” that were destroyed by a group of pro-Russian terrorists in 2014 at Izolyatsia Art Centre. Maria Kulikovska was placed on the list of banned artists in Russia because her non-binary queer art and political performances.
In 2014, at the Ukrainian-Swedish residence RutaRuna, she met with the Swedish-Assyrian artist Jacqueline Shabo, who became her partner in the same-sex marriage-as-performance «Body and Borders» (2014-2017). Their collective works focused on themes such as the freedom of woman’s body, choice, queerness, borders, and other sociopolitical issues. The artist founded the international artistic group and open feminist platform Flowers of Democracy in 2015 and the movement School of Political Performance in 2017.
In 2016, Kulikovska started to collaborate with architect-engineer Uleg Vinnichenko. On March 8, 2017 they founded the MKUV Studio, and less than three years later, the together founded the international non-binary art space, GARAGE33 in Kyiv; Maria Kulikovska serves as art director and co-curator, and Uleg Vinnichenko as CEO and producer of the gallery.
After the annexation of Crimea, she lived in Kyiv, Malmö, and Stockholm. Since March 16, 2022, she has lived in Linz in exile.
*Performance Photos by Nurith Wagner Strauss and Robert Maybach
*Portrait by Daria Biliak
We eat while we are watching the news, we eat while we are reading about the horror that is happening right now
We watch the horror as if it was a movie, and then we turn off the news and eat our dessert
I live at this wonderful place with all these cafes, all the good food, the good life, and the chocolate, while people die every day in the place where I come from
I eat and eat and eat until I spit chocolate.