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Memento Mori. Process


The first half of 2017 year became the beginning of Maria Kulikovska's cooperation with Oleh Vinnichenko, and the result of their first common work was the full-sized sculpture-cast of Kulikovska's body – «My Second Xena. Rebirth». Since then, MKOV Studio has made all sculptures together, experimenting with materials and constructions.

«Memento Mori» is a series of seven sculptural figures of Kulikovska's body cast from epoxy resin. These full-sized sculptures were specially created and installed in the public park of Ukrainian contemporary sculpture – «PARK3020», which is in the territory of «Edem Resort Medical & Spa». The park was officially opened in 2020.

During the creation of the series «Memento Mori», Maria Kulikovska searched for materials similar to soap, but more resistant to transformation. Thus, she created perpetual epoxy sculptures for the «perpetual Garden of Eden».

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This is a complex four-step process. First, a plaster cast is created from my body. Then the plaster fragments are removed and collected in a single form, in the middle of which the plaster is poured. Then the top layer is broken, and a plaster sculpture is obtained, from which silicone is removed in the next step. It does not hold its shape by itself, so a layer is fixed on the floor that will fix it. Previously, I only made molds from plaster, but only two or three castings were enough. And silicone can withstand a lot more castings made of different materials. To create one form goes a barrel of silicone (70–80 kg). There is a lot of waste in the process, sometimes it is necessary to recycle everything.

I'm doing everything with my husband, Oleh Vinnichenko. He has a lot of experience, he knows all the technical details, although he does not position himself as an artist. The two of us are constructively discussing everything, but the material itself gives about 30% of the conceptual solution. Before molding, I carefully delicate practically the entire body, and shake my head with cellophane. I breathe through the tubes inserted into my nose. This is difficult because it has to stand for one and a half or two hours. The plaster is very cold at first and then heated to 60 degrees. Burns and swelling sometimes appear on the body. Therefore, first the whole body is made, and only at the end is the mask separately. “Me” is collected from pieces, this is jewelry work.

– Maria Kulikovska
(part of Svitlana Bogdanets' article)
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