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sculpture

Scars 2014–2019

Casts of artist's hands and feet in ballistic soap

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When the Scars series was created, the artist decided to show the sad reality of the invasion and war in her native country. In the spirit of the destroyed sculptures "Homo Bulla", demonstrating the most cruel face of mankind, symbolizes the atrocities of genocide and war, until and after World War II. But the sensitive soap sculptures of Maria's hands and feet become the opposite, the true expression of life in all its glory, something that can be nourished and developed.
The soap used in casting its own hands and feet from the soap base comes from the same factory that sells the soap to a military industrial company. Soap for ballistic tests, because of its similarity in texture with the human body.

"In the summer of 2012, I made 3 soap sculptures 'Homo Bulla' – casts of the whole body and installed them in the garden of the IZOLYATSIA Art Center in Donetsk.
In the summer of 2014, this center was occupied by the terrorists of the DPR [self-proclamed Donetsk People Republic] and turned this art center to the prison and military base. My soap and plaster figures 'Army of Clones' there became targets for shooting training before the murdering of ordinary people.

Later, my friend told a story that happened to him in the prison of the DPR, the former art center, where 3 of my soap figures and plaster casts once lived. He was captured by pro-Russian militants and put in prison, where he was constantly tortured and inclined to cooperate, because they wanted to make my friend become a double agent, he was a well-known political activist and a Ukrainian independent journalist. My friend, whose name I will not disclose for his safety, was always against the policy of the illegal self-proclaimed republic, as well as their aggressors and did not agree to cooperate with them. He was constantly beaten like many others, but left to live, so that the pain of the open wounds and scars on his body would force him to collaborate with his tormentors.

It is worth noting that the territory and buildings of the art center "Izolyatsia" until 2010 (the year when the art center was born) were an abandoned factory of insulation materials that was forgotten after the collapse of the USSR. The history of this factory begins with the 50s of the last century. At that time, this plant was truly innovative: in addition to the shops where they produced mineral wool and various other insulation materials, there were experimental sound laboratories. And on the vast territory of the plant a lot of giant workshops spread out, and a lot of bunkers and basements remained, which served as soundproof study rooms. And it is in these soundproof basements after the seizure of the art center, since 9th of June 2014 to this day there are tortures of people whose voices and cries never penetrate the walls of sound laboratories of silence...

My friend was sure that his days were numbered, and he would not be able to escape from this hell. Every day the power of torture increased, and many prisoners, such as Ukrainian activists, artists, "others" disappeared forever in the garden, where my sculptures of soap and plaster once stood before they were used as shooting-targets.
Every day, my friend collected cigarette butts and rubbish on the territory of the former art center, the current DNR prison, – it was his daily routine and form of psychological pressure on prisoners who became slaves-prisoners and had to collect garbage from under the feet of their "owners". It was not possible to escape from the territory, since each prisoner was put on a chain, instead of dogs, and then after "cleaning" the territory, they were beaten with feet and clubs of prison keeprs, and then watered with cold water from a fire engine hose. After such a daily "work day", the terrorists lowered their prisoners for the night into concrete basements-bunkers, which once served as the sound laboratory for the study of silence.

And so, one day, my friend, while cleaning the garden of the territory, found a piece of soapy foot left after the execution of my full-growth sculptures. He decided – this is a sign that he will be saved. He hid this little fragment of the soapy foot of my sculpture in his bosom, and at night the prison keepers got so drunk that they forgot to put him on a chain and close the doors of the bunker where he had to sleep after carefully beating his body with drunken terrorist. That night he escaped.

In the fall of 2014, my new life began, a completely different life of the displaced person. As a reflection of everything that happened to me, my life, family, country, I decided to clone parts of my body. I think it was emotional decision to "occupy" space, mark it to remind myself: "I am exising, I am alive".
I began to look for soap, in Malmo – my new home, where I run to forget and heal during autumn 2014 I found a beautiful soap factory there. Later, I discovered, the same soap factory, which sold me 30 kg of soap, usually sold the same soap base to the arms factories, what use this soap for their needs, as I – for my. But they [the military companies] buing large pieces [columns] of soap – the size of a human body [the consistency of soap corresponds to the human body, is best suited for firing], and use them to shoot at the columns of soap, to be able to choose the best, sharp weapon. After the tests, they sell all the weapons that have been "tested" to conflict zones, from where I had hope to escape.

As I understood later, after the production of my 'Scars' series: the price of 1 kg of our life is equal to the price of 1 kg of soap for the testing weapon."

Written during autumn 2014
Series was exhibited:
Autumn 2014 – in Museum 'Quartier' Wien Austria
Autumn 2015 – 'Center of Visual Communication Kiev', Ukraine 2015
Spring 2019 – 'Hybrid' Art Fair, Madrid Spain

In private collection in Hong-Kong, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Ukraine, Austria, England.
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