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TWO VIEWS ON MARRIAGE: PERFORMANCES AT MARRY ME! EXHIBITION

15 December 2017

On December 8, in Museum of Kyiv History Zenko Gallery presented its new project, ironic contemporary art exhibition Marry Me!. During the opening, two artists Nina Murashkina and Maria Kulikovskaya, project participants, presented their performances. Marry Me!, despite intentional light-heartedness of artistic statements, still addresses relevant issues, as it is in a marriage that overcoming gender stereotypes is so hard. So does Marry Me! have an unambiguous meaning for a contemporary woman?

Nina Murashkina answered this call through her silent performance NO! “The necklace of refusals has become so long that the time has come to make a YES gesture out of it,” the artist says. Refusing a proposal is one of the possible options; “no” is no worse than “yes” and does not need additional explanations, emotions, or reflections. “Marry Me!” also means the right of choice.

The same theme was presented by Maria Kulikovskaya in a radically different way: her performance is, on the contrary, incredibly emotional, telling us what follows after a “yes,” what a woman whose consent did not result in love “till death do us part” will have to face afterwards. “Once I said, ‘Marry me!’” says the artist. “After a couple of years, I heard, ‘Divorce me’, and answered ‘yes’ with some relief.” Locking herself in a rigid frame, Maria Kulikovskaya as if separates herself from the outside world and remains on her own with her mind, body, and feelings. In this way, she regains the integrity, which is so often lost when one human becomes too close to another.