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DOCUMENTATION OF THE PERFORMANCE, 5'59, 2021

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performance “Lustration / Ablution №4”

On November 26, 2020, within the framework of the project “From Action to Performative Sculpture”, Maria Kulikovska performed “Lustration / Ablution №4”. The artist has planned to hold this long-term performance project 88 times for the rest of her life and has now completed it for the fourth time. Prior to that, it was held on March 8, 2018 at the Mystetskyi Arsenal. A month later the artist made a reenactment for Vogue UA and finally repeated it in the park Ebenbockhouse in Munich.

During this performance, the artist was washing herself placed in the bathroom with her soap sculpture. Thus, while washing her body and face she performs sacrifice clearing of injuries. As the artist comments on the action, “I wash and tear my soapy skin, I wipe myself and shake my whole body with my own hands. I observe the lustration of my image and the image of a woman in a patriarchal context. Erasing one’s own hands is a reference to women’s invisible work presented by society as something beautiful and natural, almost woven into our skin, but also destroying it”.

At the same time, research of the conflict stretches through the artist’s continuous practice in the context of personal traumas. Soap is both the basis for creating the sculpture-cast and a material for testing weapons in militaristic factories, because its density corresponds to the density of the human body. The desire to cleanse oneself of pain, political conflict, discrimination, complexity, and chaos was transformed into art therapy and lustration of the body cast.

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