Copyright Sergei Parajanov House-Museum

MIRROR AND POMEGRANATE Works from the private archives of Andrey Tarkovsky and Sergei Parajanov Exhibition at ArtMost Foundation 23 Charles Street, London W1J 5DT, 28 Sept – 17 Nov 2012 Screening of Nostalgia at Cine Lumiere 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT – 26 Sept, 18.15 ArtMost Foundation in collaboration with Anya Stonelake/White Space Gallery hold pride of displaying works from the private archives of two of the 20th century’s greatest masters of cinema: Andrey Tarkovsky (1932 – 1986) and Sergei Parajanov (1924 – 1990). The exhibition will coincide with the launch of the Russian edition of the book Bright Bright Day published by White Space Gallery and the Tarkovsky Foundation, as well as the release of a limited edition portfolio of Sergei Parajanov’s collages produced in association with Parajanov Museum in Yerevan, Armenia. These and other events, including screenings at the Ciné Lumière and the Pushkin House, and book signing at The Russian Bookstore in Waterstones, Piccadilly, will celebrate the 80th anniversary of Andrey Tarkovsky’s birth and his great friendship with Sergei Parajanov. Andrey Tarkovsky is considered by many to be one of the greatest filmmakers the world has ever seen. Although he made just eight feature films before his life was cut tragically short by cancer, at the age of 54, each is an artistic masterpiece and a major landmark in world cinema. This exhibition will present portfolio of polaroids produced in association with Florence-based Tarkovsky Foundation archive, which is maintained by the filmmaker’s son Andrey Tarkovsky. Taken in Russian and in Italy between 1979-1984, ranging from romantic landscapes and studied portraits to private shots of the auteur’s family and friends – including late distinguished scriptwriter Tonino Guerra– all the photographs demonstrate the singular compositional and visual-poetic ability of this master image-maker. Many of the polaroids that were created in Russia complement and extend the personal imagery of the film Mirror (1974). Equally rewarding cross-fertilization is apparent in the images that were taken in Italy while he was travelling with Tonino Guerra and preparing Nostalgia (1983). Indeed, from when Michelangelo Antonioni first gave Tarkovsky the Polaroid camera as a gift, in the 1970s, it rarely left his side. This show pairs Tarkovsky’s polaroids and projected scenes from his movies with photo collages and other works by Sergei Parajanov on loan from Parajanov Museum. The museum was founded in Erevan in 1988 when Parajanov moved there from Tbilisi, Georgia.   Sergei Parajanov is one of the most daring and visionary directors to emerge from the former Soviet Union. Legends such as Fellini, Antonioni and Tarkovsky crowned Parajanov with titles like “genius”, “magician” and “a master”. His unique, explosive cinematic language has no analogies in the world. Parajanov won countless awards, including the British Academy Award for his film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. In spite of his international acclaim, Parajanov was a constant target for the Soviet system. No other director suffered such a fate as Paradjanov; he was arrested twice on fabricated charges and as a result he spent five years in hard labour camps. After his release he wasn’t allowed to work for fifteen years. Deprived of the opportunity to make films, he dedicated his life to making collages, drawings and other art forms.   The great friendship of Tarkovsky and Parajanov began in early 1970s, when they met in Kiev (Ukraine) not long before Parajanov was imprisoned. They both regarded each other as geniuses. When Parajanov was arrested, Tarkovsky along with many of his great contemporaries such as Lilya Brick, Federico Fellini, Vasily Katanyan, Vasily Shikshin, Yuri Lubimov, Kira Muratova and many others wrote letters to him and to the Soviet authorities. Tarkovsky has been sending Parajanv his own collages in exchange to the once Parajanov made for him in prison. Andrey Tarkovsky wrote about Sergei Parajanov:   “He makes collages, dolls, hats, drawings, or something that you may call ‘design.’ There is much more to it, though: it is infinitely more talented and noble; it is real art. What is the secret of its beauty? The spontaneity. When an idea strikes him, he does not engage in planning, arranging, or estimating how to do it in the best possible way. There is no difference between an idea and its implementation; there is no time to lose anything between the cracks. The emotion that triggered creation turns into something finite without a single drop spilled. It gets through in its original pureness, spontaneity, and naiveté.”