2020 QUARANTINEIT IS WORLDWIDE KNOWN THAT 2020 IS A HISTORIC YEAR. A year of sacrifice, of change and solitude all over the world. Tarkovsky knew well what the feeling was, he did his own quarantine during 1970’s. His polaroids express perfectly our current state of mind and situation.

Filmmaker, Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986), has been considered one of the most relevant figures of Russian cinema. His unique and ‘slow’ movies resemble poetry. They are a complete evocation of feelings.

After being known by 7 films, his amateur photographic work-specially the polaroid format one- has become a referent of visual imaginary. Why polaroids? Once Tarkovsky discovered the Polaroid camera, he always kept it close. He was obsessed with stopping time and that was a very simple yet efective way to do it. 

He carried his Polaroids with him during his many travels and personally chose every photograph. He wanted to create a haunting universe around them, so he usually ended up burning the ones that didn’t fit that purpose. 

On the set of ‘Nostalgia’, Orticoli, October, 1982

 

‘Art symbolises the meaning of our existence.’Andrei Tarkovsky.

Sitting in our sofas, surrounded by four impervious walls, we realize that loneliness is not a choice anymore. We are bound to stay on isolation. Social contact has never been so dangerous. Locked up but well. We don’t know what the effects of a quarantine could be. 

However, we can identify our anxiety about future, our depressive glance to the world and the realization of the day-to-day life with the phantasmagoric atmosphere of these polaroids. Tarkovsky used to shot his home and familiar spaces. He loved to capture the most intimate and routinary moments of his life. His wife, children and dogs are some of the recurrent topics that we can find on his polaroid work. 

The polaroid essence and their  instant print transformed every scene in something poetic and misty. For the first time,  daily life becomes a dream, a reflection. The ‘everyday’ is a mystery based on the captivating beauty of the unrepeatable.

featuring Larissa Tarkovsky, Myasnoe, 29 September 1981

‘We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically.’

— Andrei Tarkovsky

On the set of ‘Nostalgia’ series, 1982

The awareness of light, deep shadows and highlights, and the cold palette- based on blues and greens- created a vert distinctive melachonlia. Its polaroids express joy and sadness at the same time. 

His work is a tribute to the simplest life with a latent frustration that came from desperately trying to make a moment eternal and not succeeding.

Instant light — You can find after this name a beautiful compilation of sixty polaroid photographs taken in Russia and Italy between 1979 and 1984 by Tarkovsky. ‘Instant Light’ was published by Thames & Hudson in 2006 and was instantly acclaimed as ‘the book of the year’ (Time Out, 2006). 

Enrica Antonioni, Costa Paradiso, Sardinia

Show them life, and they’ll find within themselves the means to assess and appreciate it.

— Andrei Tarkovsky.

Andrey Tarkovsky in Tuscany, July – August, 1979

content editor Penélope Blas
words Noelia Blas

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