Maria Kulikovska: President of Crimea, Since 19th of March, 2014

24 Sep – 12 Feb 2023,

Two iron bells have been cast from the artist’s body. Inside the hollow shape are metal-shaped batons that can be used to chime the bells. The bells in the exhibition will chime when there is an air raid in Ukraine – as a reminder that the war is still going on. During the first days of the exhibition the artist will perform the chiming in the space; after which the task will be passed on to Accelerator’s exhibition hosts. The hope is that the bells will chime as little as possible and that they will become silent sooner rather than later.

The artist regards the sculptures as “poles around which all her other actions swirl”. At Accelerator, Kulikovska’s site-specific drawings relate to a planned development of her work President of Crimea that was put on hold because of the war in Ukraine. The idea is to cast four bells in bronze in the form of bodies featuring different faces: the artist’s grandmother’s, her mother’s, her baby daughter’s and her own. For this exhibition, the intention was to cast the bells in a foundry in Chernihiv, Ukraine, which has a long tradition of casting church bells. Foundries still exist but due to the war they are experiencing many difficulties. The project at Accelerator is a starting point for producing these four future sculptures in Ukraine as soon as possible. 

The bells are produced in collaboration with Oleg Vinnichenko.

“President of Crimea, Since 19th of March, 2014”, performance documentation Accelerator 2022. Photo Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

About Maria Kulikovska

Maria Kulikovska (b. 1988, Kerch, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Ukraine) is a multimedia artist, architect, actionist-performer, researcher and lecturer. Kulikovska first studied in Kyiv and received an MA in art and architecture from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture. After working as an architect in China and Switzerland, she returned to art working with performance and sculptures. Kulikovska completed her second MA at Konstfack University of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm, in 2020.

Since 2014, Maria Kulikovska has organised and produced political performances and actions and participated in exhibitions at numerous venues including: Francisco Carolinum, Linz, Austria; Neue National Gallery, Berlin; LudwigMuseum, Budapest; Q Collection, Budapest/Hong Kong; Saatchi Gallery, London; Mystetskiy Arsenal Kyiv; Crimean Platform, Kyiv and National Odesa Fine Arts Museum, Ukraine.