Sunday, September 24, 2006

Instant Light


The image is not a certain meaning,
expressed by the director,
but the entire world
reflected as in a drop of water.

An artistic image
is one that ensures its own development,
its historical viability.
An image is a grain,
a self-evolving retroactive organism.
It is a symbol of actual life,
as opposed to life itself.
Life contains death.
An image of life, by contrast,
excludes it, or else sees in it
a unique potential
for the affirmation of life

Lord! I feel You drawing near,
I can feel Your hand upon the back of my head.
Because I want to see Your world
as You made it,
and Your people
as You would have them be,
I Love You, Lord,
and want nothing else from You.
I accept all that is Yours,
and only the weight of my malice and my sins,
the darkness of my base soul,
prevent me from being
Your worthy slave, O Lord!
Help me, Lord, and forgive me!


Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids
Edited by Giovanni Chiaramonte and Andrey A. Tarkovsky
ISBN 0500286140

A beautiful, elegiac collection of sixty polaroid photographs by the late, great Soviet film director, Andrei Tarkovsky

‘Tarkovsky often reflected on the way that time flies and this is precisely what he wanted: to stop it, even with these quick Polaroid shots … These images leave us with a mysterious and poetic sensation, the melancholy of seeing things for the last time. It is as though Andrey wanted a swift way to pass his own enjoyment to others. They are something to be shared, not only a method of making his own wish to stop time come true. And they feel like a fond farewell’ – Tonino Guerra, from the Introduction to Instant Light

Composed of sixty luminous polaroids taken by Andrey Tarkovsky in Russia and Italy between 1979 and 1984, this beautifully produced series of cameos from the director’s life reveals him to be a master of the still as much as of the moving image. The photos in the first section, taken in Russia, have the radiant melancholy of lengthening shadows and trees looming through misty dawns near Tarkovsky’s country dacha, together with portraits of his wife, son and dog, loaded with nostalgia by quotations from his later diaries. Those taken in Italy portray exquisite still lifes and glimmering ruins. The book concludes with photographs from Tarkovsky’s personal collection.

Tarkovsky is here revealed as realizing the utmost potential of a fleeting, disposable medium: his images seem to capture eternity in a moment.

Andrei Tarkovsky, probably best-known for his 1972 film Solaris, is widely considered the finest film-maker Russia has ever produced. He died in 1986. Andrei A. Tarkovsky is his son. Giovanni Chiaramonte is a distinguished Italian photographer. Tonino Guerra is a prolific Italian screenwriter and was a great friend of Tarkovsky, with whom he worked on Nostalghia.






Book bought:
Books read:
-Informal--Cecil Balmond
-Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids--Edited by Giovanni Chiaramonte and Andrey A. Tarkovsky

No comments: