National Centre For Contemporary Arts, Vladikavkaz

The Fifth International Artists Symposium <<Alanica>> 

Bridge of Cultures

25 August - 10 September 2011

constructed painting by Paul Critchley 'Bridge of Cultures, created in the symposium Alanica 2011, Vladikavkaz
constructed painting by Paul Critchley 'Bridge of Cultures, created in the symposium Alanica 2011, Vladikavkaz, detail 1
constructed painting by Paul Critchley 'Bridge of Cultures, created in the symposium Alanica 2011, Vladikavkaz, detail 2

Bridge of Cultures

Oil on canvas on hardboard, 2 separate pieces 128 x 310 cm

Organized by Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Culture and Mass communications of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania

Project director : Galina Tebieva

Curators : Elena Tsvetaeva, Evgeny Umansky, Georgy Sabeev

Coordinator : Lilia Galazova


Emanuela Camacci, Brunivo Buttarelli, Alberto Mariani, Marco Puca, Alfio di Paola, Luigi Ottani (Italy), Tanya Preminger (Israel), Sophie Valette (France), Paul Critchley (UK), Apl315, Vassily Tsagolov (Ukraine), Mamed Rashidov, Ali Gasanov (Azerbaijan), Katia Swadkowska (Poland), Apandi Magomedov, Tagir Gapurov (Dagestan), San Donato Group, Yuri Vassiliev (Kalingrad), Houston Street art group, Rostan Tavasiev, Alexander Pettay, Alexandra Mitlyanskaya, Taus Makhacheva, Alexander Panov, Karina Karaeva (Moscow),  Radya (Ekaterinburg), Ushang Kozaev, Rpbert Karkusov (Vladikavkaz).

Catalogue : Alanica 2011, catalogue

Catalogue of Alanica 2011 symposium
Paul Critchley - Alanica 2011 symposium

Bridges of understanding

It’s the fifth time that the capital of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania has welcomed its guests, artists, in the framework of the international symposium “Alanica”. In 2011 a saturated program of the symposium presented contemporary art that most actively influences and involves the viewer in the process of creation of an artwork, alongside with contemporary painting and graphics.

One of the priority tasks put forward by the curators was not only the presentation of art in the traditional museum halls, but also its integration in the public city space to approximate the city dwellers and this kind of art, and to provoke a natural feedback through discussions. The Central park of Vladikavkaz saw various objects of land art vividly inscribed in the natural environment. Expressive graffittis transformed thr former building of the “Irteks” exhibition centre and the walls of the “Komsomolets” cinema. It was there where for 2 weeks on a daily basis artists and curators delivered their master-classes and made presentations which introduced the artworks of the symposium participants and the collection of Russian and international video art  to visitors. The topics discussed were not only contemporary tendencies and forms of representation, but also the intercourse between and coexistence of contemporary culture and traditional art. One of the most spectacular and large-scale events to highlight the symposium was a work  by a group of young artists “Houston Street” - an architectural video-mapping on the façade of the cinema and concert hall “Oktyabr”. The video was triumphantly finalized by an appearance of the image of the Gergiev music centre whose construction is planned to start on this spot in the near future.

The outcome of the symposium was the donation of over 100 artworks to the National museum of the republic of North Ossetia-Alania, including works of contemporary art, which allowed compiling a unique collection of an international standard that features a wide range of visual culture and complements the traditional museum collections. In the framework of the Russia-Italy Year 2011 several Italian artists were invited to the symposium who represented a classical image of contemporary Italian art. The event also welcomed participants from the UK, Poland, France, Azerbaijan, Israel and Ukraine. The geography of Russian artists covered a sheer territory from Kaliningrad to the Urals, and from Saint-Petersburg to Vladikavkaz which allowed to demonstrate a most impressive range of artistic attitudes towards the territory, national traditions and unique landscape. The new author statements - reserved, tactful and tolerant towards the national historical culture of Ossetia - made an updated and attractive image of the Caucasus possible. Such concentration of contemporary art did not only generate considerable interest, but also contributed to its understanding as an indispensable part of contemporary and actively developing society. Art creates new open communicative platforms where the artist and the viewer meet and which create a favourable environment which fosters the active engagement of the viewer into a common European process.

The development of the symposium and professional activities within it are focused on the enhancement and strengthening of international and regional cultural ties in the field of contemporary visual arts. The symposium and its associated activities foster the processes in cultural journalism, art critics, curatorial and management practices which interact with artistic developments in the region.

With technological and intellectual innovations in view which have embraced the country, Alanica” uses a universal language of contemporary art to expand and carry the format of an art event to an international level…

Paul Critchley, Rainford, UK

Bridge of Cultures. Oil on canvas on hardboard, 2011

This painting of a bridge of books spanning the remains of a wall symbolizes the triumph of thought over the barrier of ignorance and prejudice. The books represent the accumulation of knowledge acquired over the centuries and across the world. The key book in the story is the blood red book  which represents the code of DNA which we all share, and no man--made barrier can divide us from sharing life.

Famous Magazine, October 2011

Famous magazine, October 2011, cover
Magazine article about Symposium Alanica 2022

Пол Критчли (британец) 

Когда я приехал сюда в первый раз в 2007 году, я был очень впечатлен духом местных жителей и рад продолжить знакомство. Осетинские художники обладают большой индивидуальностью. Их творчество исходит из оригинальной поэзии, традиций и прочного общения с прошлым. Современное искусство требует объяснений, но ваше говорит само за себя, и это очень хорошо, потому что внутри картины есть жизнь, история, которая будет интересна многим поколениям. Приезд во Владикавказ был для меня новым опытом, приключением, а уезжая, я уношу с собой маленький кусочек Осетии. Мои работы символизируют тему симпозиума: Мы строим мосты вместо стен.

Paul Critchley (British)

When I arrived here for the first time in 2007 I was very impressed by the spirit of the local people and I am happy to continue my acquaintance. Ossetian artists have great individuality. Their creativity comes from original poetry, traditions and a strong communication with the past. Modern art demands explanations but yours speaks for itself and it is very good because within the picture there is life, a story which will be interesting to many generations.

Arriving in Vladik,avkaz was for me a new experience, an adventure, and leaving I take away with me a little piece of Ossetia. My works symbolizes the subject of the symposium: We build bridges instead of walls.

at the symposium

Preparing the structure of the painting 'Bridge of Cultures'
painting in progress
painting assistant Gala Tebieva, director of the symposium
Working on the painting 'Bridge of Cultures

The following photos are courtesy and copyright of Luigi Ottani©, thank you Luigi.

Emanuela Camacci
Tagir Garupov

Emanuela Camacci - l’albero ed io 

 Tagir Garupov

Kirill Voronkov

Mammad Rashid

Apandi Magomedov with exhibition visitors

Robert Karkusov

Painting by Robert Karkusov at Alanica 2011 symposium

An excursion into the mountains