Maria Kulikovska: 254 Action

254 is Maria Kulikovska’s number as a registered refugee from the occupied Crimea since 2014. On July 1, 2014, Maria Kulikovska held an unauthorized performance during the opening of the biennale of contemporary art Manifesta’10, which took place in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At that time, the artist was laying on the stairs of the museum in the wounded soldier position, covered by the Ukrainian flag. The performance ended with the short-term arrest of Maria Kulikovska, which resulted at Ukrainian artist added to the list of banned artists in Russia.
The war. The war’s duration and consequences. The destructive inhumane nature of war. The war is one of the main issues of Maria Kulikovska’s artistic practice. Inability to come back and work in native Kerch (Crimea) plunged into the artist’s skin, made hundreds of scars. It still makes the senses of Kulikovska’s identity bleed. The lack of „alive“ place on the artist’s body-memory became one of the reasons for the reaction and creation of the artistic actions and performative sculptures. For the artist, they are the methods of reaction, fight, healing, exemption, identification, return. 
Because of the full-scale invasion of Russia in Ukraine, Maria Kulikovska had to flee the second time.

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 lives and works in Kyiv and Stockholm in exile (after Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in spring 2014 the artist never went back to her native city).