Homo Bulla refers to an old Latin proverb expressing that the human existence is like a bubble. The human being in all its fragility and transience might become compared to a beautiful but fugacious soap bubble. The three sculptures by Maria Kulikovska, 'Homo Bulla' (white, red, green), are made from coloured soap and have been casted from her own body.
In 2012 Maria Kulikovska had realized a similar series of these translucent bodies, which are mysteriously shining, like precious gems from their inner core. They where installed on the site of a former factory for insulation materials in Donetsk, Ukraine. The area of the abandoned buildings was home to the Izolyatsia Foundation, which focussed on promoting and giving a home to contemporary art in the former heavy industries region in the Eastern part of Ukraine and is now active in exile in Kyiv.
The soap sculptures were placed outside and exposed to rain, heat and weather. The process of change and partly, but continuous dissolution of the materials by nature, was stopped abruptly by violence. In June 2014, militia of the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic' seized the territory. Most of the artworks and facilities were vandalized and the sculptures were used for target practising.
The three newly produced 'Homo Bulla' sculptures were shown in 2015 at Saatchi Gallery in London, where the artist realized a seemingly very aggressive action Happy Birthday
. She entered the exhibition space naked and hit her own sculpture and casted body with a hammer. The deep wounds and scars stay visible on the green sculpture.
After the exhibition of 3 soap figures 'Homo Bulla. Replica' in the Saatchi Gallery in London and her action 'Happy Birthday' during the Ukrainian-British exhibitionU.K./RAINE
, Maria received an invitation from the British cultural organization Art Represent
to do her first solo exhibition in London. This cultural institution works only for the presentation and promotion of art and artists from conflict areas. On May 9, 2016, Maria Kulikovska opened her first solo exhibition 9th of May. Victory Day
in the space of Art Represent in one of the most alternative areas of London, in Bethnal Green. During her exhibition, again she presented her soap sculptures 'Homo Bulla. Replica' and again made unexpected performances with her sculptures: she doused with blood already beaten green sculpture, full of deep scars from a hammer after her performance 'Happy Birthday'.Art Collection Deutsche Telekom
bought for their collection the whole triptych 'Homo Bulla. Replica', after her solo exhibition in London, and reprsented it in the National Museum of Sculpture in Warsaw 'Krolikarnia' in frames of Warsaw Gallery Weekend
. Later, all 3 damaged soap figures were installed in the office of main quate of the corporation Deutsche Telekom in Bonn.