MKUV Studio – Maria Kulikovska and Uleg Vinnichenko

Maria Kulikovska is a multimedia artist, architect, actionist/performer, researcher, and lecturer. She was born in 1988 in Kerch, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine. After the Russian federation’s annexation of Crimea, she lived and worked in Kyiv, Donetsk, Malmo, Liverpool, London, Munich, and Stockholm in exile (after the occupation of the Crimea Peninsula in the spring of 2014 the artist never went back to her hometown).

From 2020 Maria together with her partner and co-author Oleg Vinnichenko based in Kyiv permanently, where they built their studio and an experimental independent art space Garage33. Gallery Shelter and School of Political Performance. But nearly one month after 24 February 2022 Maria together with her newborn baby was forced to flee from Ukraine to Linz, Austria with the help of the Office for Art (Berlin, Germany), OÖ Landes Kultur, and Francisco Carolinum Museum (Linz, Austria). This was her second escape from the Russian war in Ukraine.


During our new life on the ex-military fortress island, not so far away from Russia, with hearts full of fear and anger, waiting every second for the news of the victory, hoping to have own home again, hoping to never hear about death, and believing in life, we would love to install and present on the island a ‘Figure’ from the series ‘Carpe Diem’, a sculpture of a female body under the skin of which are bones of dead animals. This ‘Figure’ represents death and the all-too-many moments of darkness in our life since the beginning of the war, since February 2014. Later, in the spring, we hope to install a new sculpture at the same place, in front of one of the cannons, facing the horizon. This will be a new chapter in our life – a pregnant cast of us, representing hope and the life that will come after death. The installation processes will be documented as performance on film.

Maria Kulikovska’s residency is part of the Ukraine Solidarity Residencies program started in March by a group of independent art organisations who joined together to pool resources and share information. The current partners are AARK, Art in Lov Residence, Connecting Points programme, Fairres, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, Goethe-Institut Finnland, HIAP, Nelimarkka Museum, Pro Artibus, The Finnish Artists’ Studio Foundation, The Finnish Illustration Association, Tohmajärvi Residency, and Saari Residence maintained by Kone Foundation.