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Lustration / Ablution #02: Art Edition of Vogue UA 2018

Second part of the long-term performance with the cast of artist body, 88 times, until the end of artist life. For 'Art Edition of Vogue UA' / Kyiv, UA

Performance ... / May 2018
for Art Edition of Vogue UA / Kyiv, UA
Photo/Video: Alive Gontar Style: Venya Brykalin Assistant of stylist: Vika Filipova Makeup: Katya Kharlanova Hairstyle: Pavel Lotnik Jewelry: Helena Prosvirnova Artis/Performer: Maria Kulikovska
Lustration is a cleansing, washing through a sacrifice. Within 3 hours I wash exact copies of my body, my clones, figures, molds of soap. The action can take place in any space, location, context... In my own hand, I wash, scrape, tear off the soap skin from "myself", wiping myself, washing, shaking my whole body about my own "body", I watch the lustration of my image and the image of a woman in a patriarchal context. Washing, erasing my own hands is all a reference to female invisible labor, which is presented by society as something beautiful, normal, and natural, woven into the very skin of every woman, but which also dissolves it imperceptibly.

Hiding my own face from "myself" is the strongest victim in the path of liberation. This is a transformation that can never be undone, and after that, I will never become the same human, the same woman: timid and submissive, soft and calm, accepting all the blows of an unfair society as before. This performance is also about war. The soap from which the sculpture was made in Sweden, in one of the factories that sells exactly the same soap to gun factories and shooting ranges. All weapons that fall into conflict zones, military zones, everything was tested at shooting ranges, where they shot at pieces of soap, the same as I used to create my clone. The interesting fact is that this soap has the same density as the human body, it is also translucent, so this bar of soap can serve as an ideal platform for selecting the best killer weapon.

During continuous wiping, slipping, touching my body with the "body" of my soap clone, all these actions will have sexual and erotic overtones that it is difficult for me to verbalize, but body language, its movements, all this take some place of a man, usually dominant, possessing body of a fragile woman.

I first made this performance on March 8, 2018, at the Arsenal Museum of Modern Art in Kyiv. Then I repeated it in May 2018 specially for the Art Edition of 'Vogue Ukraine' magazine. Later, the third time I lustrated "myself" in the park of the cultural house of Munich, in Ebenbockhouse as part of my artistic residency organized by Passing Fabrik Art Center and Art Collection Deutsche Telekom. After the first performance on March 8, I realized that for me this act is very symbolic and is part of my healing and forgiveness, acceptance and reflection on the events taking place in society and what completely changed my life. Also, this is my own interpretation of those events of spring and summer 2014 when I become a displaced person in my own country, and then my first soap copies of my own body became targets for shooting by people who came and started the war. This became my way to deal with this trauma.

After the first wash, I realized that I wanted to make this performance 88 times, throughout my life. I was born in 1988 and no matter how hard it was in life, the complexity and injustice of this world, discrimination and inequality, war and occupation constantly present in me and reminding of themselves should not win me, but the motivation to cleanse myself can become my own therapy, which allowed me to look at myself in different contexts, places and points of the planet, cities and public spaces, and give strength and desire to live to 2088 or more, always archiving not only the imprint of my body but also my own my power over myself.
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