President of Crimea. Constitution : Author(s) Autonomous Republic of Xena-Maria

University essay from Konstfack/Institutionen för Konst (K)

Abstract: In this essay, two voices are heared, from two women: a certain artist Xena, who talks about her life and its dramas, interwoven with her own experiences from her diaries; and the voice of Maria, who analyzes Xena's life story and her art, diffracted through the prim of the history of 21stC art.  Art the outset, "President of Crimea. Constitution", announces its author as Xena-Maria; but it is not yet clear whether the author is one person or two, nor who they are. Is it Maria who writes here, or Xena, or both? Or are they one and the same person? But at the end of the story, which is told rather in a form of certain legends and fairy tales, Maria and Xena turn into one whole, and meaningfully put an ellipsis after the words "to be continued". This reception was specially intended by the artist Maria Kulikovska, author of this essay, in order to protect both herself and the reader from possible persecutions by migration services and goverment officials of various countries, especially Russia. Also, for her it is an opportunity to step aside and analyze her own life and art form a third person, about which, perhaps, a fictional character from her childhood talks - a sensible step for Maria Kulikovska. The step that her creative language conceptually continues is to replicate casts of her own body and establish them in different spaces and contexts. So she fairly confuses the viewer as to where is the truth, and where is fiction; where is herself, and where is her clone - only now, here, she has applied the same trick in her text. This essay tells a very personal story of the life of a human body, a migrant woman in forced relocation, displacements, alienation and persecutions for her views on life and the conduct of society, and for her moral values expressed throught architecture, sculpture, drawings, performances, actions and public statements. Through the prism of geopolitical upheavals, it tells the artist's own story: How her analysis of own body position and boundaries helped her overcome stigma regarding the body of a woman from Eastern Europe, and how art can save and redeem in an unending inner drama. 

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