Oleg Kulik – “Kuliks”

Academy of Fine Arts Gallery  (Sarajevo)
December 05, 2000


“Kuliks”- a performance by Oleg Kulik, a performance artist, sculptor, photographer and curator (Ukraine)

Performance by Oleg Kulik is devoted to the problem of the body, in body and performing art, to the opposition between a unique and irrepresentable «means of expression» (the body) and its multiplied visual images (photo and video) in art and mass media spaces. -according the initial idea of Zoophrenia program (developed together with Mila Bredikhina) the Kulik body (and images) belongs simultaneously to two different living beings  – to Kulik-human-being-artist and Kulik-art-animal -a «schizophrenic» consciousness of contemporary artists and in general any modern man/woman is opposed a «zoophrenic» animal attitude, i.e. a natural, vital reception of the world.

To the contrast with previous performances and actions of the Zoophrenia in the performances KULIKS the artist which before exhausted his imagination to transform himself in animal makes a gesture in the contrary direction. Kulik tries to transform himself back in an artist. Being an art-animal, a bird (“kulik” means “a bird”, “a woodcock” in Russian) he is naked and equipped with a steal “beak”, a miniature video camera and a brush. He is painting in red his self-portrait on the screen, where a black and white video projection of his image as human being already exists. Human artist offends artist-bird using strong Russian impressions and “pigeon” English. “You are not an artist! You are not an animal! You are bullshit!” – insists human. By means of the micro camera an existential and esthetic conflict of two Kuliks are broadcast on another screen. When the drama reaches its limits, Kulik-bird destroys the first fragile screen. Both screens stay dark and empty for a few minutes. No images at all. However, the camera works. When Kulik starts to move and turns around, either his shadows – a real one and its video projection – or faces of spectators inevitably appear on the rest of the unbroken screen.*

*Excerpt from Oleg Kulik and Mila Bredikhine text

Oleg Kulik’s performance is a part of the exhibition “Future is Now-Ukrainian art in Nineties”, which has been organized by the SCCA Sarajevo.

Realized with the support of the Swiss Art Council Pro Helvetia, department Réseaux Est-Ouest.