Pictorial Pretexts in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Works

20 May 2022
Time: 18:00
Vladimir Nabokov Museum (47 Bolshaya Morskaya Street)

Zhamila Dviniatina’s lecture "Pictorial Pretexts in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Works".

Pretexts are those prior works significant to the work that follows, which perhaps broadly quotes them. Mania for quotation is a common façon de vivre of the old masters. Andrei Tarkovsky’s mania for quotation is exactly the same as that of the old masters. It is a method of reconstructing the world, it is a game that is impossible not to play. In cinematography, Andrei Tarkovsky accomplishes exactly what painters did in painting. He chooses classical subjects and engages in polemical competition with his predecessors, demonstrating mastery and the ability to present themes in his own way. He moves the heroes of biblical stories into modernity. He practices repetition of the same motifs, as if they were not merely persistent in expressing an essential meaning, but are interesting to him on their own. He repeats the composition, the types, the genres, the details of selected authors, and pictures similar in plot or typology. In short, he behaves like an artist who has a camera, a film, and a screen instead of a brush, paints, and a canvas. At the same time in his public statements, he avoids his chosen method in every possible way.

What and why he quotes from painting, why he does not want it to be noticed, why the viewer should guess the quotation or ignore it, and what art historians and critics think about this — these are the issues that will be covered in the lecture on Andrei Tarkovsky’s pictorial pretexts.