My proposal or rather ‘immersion’ for the Festival "Virtual Alanica" is based on research on the cultural and publishing history of North Ossetia-Alania, which I conducted in my first trip to Vladikavkaz in 2013. In the material that I collected during that visit, I noted images of some amazing theatrical costumes and was fascinated by images of miniature wooden sculptures, which I imagined was made by local craftsmen based on long held traditions. I have been going back to those images often in the past few years, and so when I noticed the costumes on display at the Museum of Theatrical Art of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, I immediately was drawn to the location.
Although I am most familiar with working with archives and image histories, I wanted to move on in my practice and not rely on proposing a rereading of the collection of the Museum of Theatrical Art. In addition, the theatrical costumes and wooden sculptures that fascinated me for a long time, have such extraordinary material presence that I didn’t want to treat them only as images. Furthermore, I wanted to make a work that draws on local traditions and involves collaboration with craftsmen’s and the public. As such, in this ideal imaginary immersion, I am making wooden sculptures versions of the theatrical costumes on display at Museum of Theatrical Art. The miniature wooden sculptures produced could be added to the museum collection and sold as souvenirs.
Recently, I have found a more contemporary miniature wooden sculpture in a flea market in Germany, which provides an example of how these new wooden theatrical sculptures might look like. I imagine that this will be a collaborative process involving consultation with the public and local craftsmen. Once the designs are finalised and the prototypes made, I also imagine workshops session where both myself and the general public are taught how to make the sculptures by the master craftsmen. ‘Wooden Costumes’ is an opportunity to move my artistic work to a new area and also to give back something long lasting to North Ossetia-Alania.