Maria Kulikovska, “Homo Bulla” / hammer wielded by the artist 

In November 2015, Ukranian artist Maria Kulikovska used a hammer to destroy three of her own works in an act of protest. 

The original “Homo Bulla,” a series of soap sculptures created from casts of the artist’s nude body, was originally installed in 2012 at the Izolyatsia Art Center in Donetsk, Ukraine. But after pro-Russian rebels violently seized control of the Center in June 2014, the works were reportedly destroyed, used by the militants as target practice. “They completely destroyed my full-body sculptures by shooting them,” Kulikovska said. “When they shot them, they announced that their action was their own performance, to show everyone their power and what will happen with anyone who do not agree with them.”

In response, Kulikovska created a duplicate set of sculptures as part of a group exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Entering the gallery in the nude, she then used a hammer to destroy the works during the show’s opening.“It’s my response to the terrorists that I am the owner of my body and my life,” she explained. “It is also a feminist stance; no one has the right to destroy images of women.”

Christopher Schreck