just opened a journal from 1989, the year I settled in Melbourne, having returned from a couple of years in London and time spent travelling. I found this quote taken from "Sculpting in Time", a book on film theory by Russian film maker Andre Tarkovsky*. Whilst in London I'd seen the affecting film 'The Sacrifice' - the last he made, filmed in Sweden in 1986. Ingmar Bergman was quoted as saying "Tarkovsky is for me the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream".
I have kept notes of all kinds in journals over many years, some continue to resonate with meaning and this one this morning caught my attention. In the background is a section of a painting 'big river dreaming' from work I was doing in 2005-2006.The early life of Tarkovsky, and the circumstances he was surrounded by make fascinating reading -click on his name* above to read. The following is from the same text.
"...in artistic creation the personality does not assert itself. It serves another higher and communal idea. The artist is always a servant, and is perpetually trying to pay for the gift that has been given to him as if by some miracle. Modern man however does not want to make any sacrifice, even though true affirmation of self can only be made in sacrifice. We are gradually forgetting about this, and at the same time, inevitably, losing all sense of our human calling..."
Current art theory generally appears to sit in a different place to the atmosphere and thinking of a person like Tarkovsky. Certainly arguements could be made contrary to Tarkovsky's position, however, I always find going back to read what has been said by those who shaped ideas, and succeeded in bringing forward a new vision, to be entirely though provoking and useful to reflect on. Some ideas are worthy of transcending fashionable ideas of the day - at least for the opportunity they offer to engage with different thinking.