‘An image is not a certain meaning … but the entire world reflected as in a drop of water.’
- Andrei Tarkovsky
Poetic, profound and technically masterful – complex in both medium and message – the work of acclaimed Russian film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986) speaks eloquently and directly to a wide audience around issues central to the human condition. Increasingly, it has also become the focus of academic and artistic debate. Entering into this debate, Kreider + O’Leary investigate Tarkovsky’s specific understanding of the ‘film image’ as this is articulated in his collection of writings, Sculpting in Time (1986), and evidenced by his film work.
A vital and complex element of Tarkovsky’s cinema, and key to its uniqueness, the film image warrants exploration. Kreider + O’Leary, as poet and architect, enact this through their collaborative and interdisciplinary practice. Taking the final three scenes of the film Nostalghia (1983) as a site for their creative and critical investigation, they engage with those properties of Tarkovsky’s film image that make it unique: an emphasis on time and the ‘rhythm’ of the image; the relationship between the film image and place; and Tarkovsky’s signature syntax of the long take and tracking shot. They also engage with other, lesser explored aspects of Tarkovsky’s film image that contribute to its complexity of meaning including the symbolic properties of the poetic image as well as the material qualities, design and construction of a particular location or place. The result is Gorchakov’s Wish: a video work, poem and record of investigation into the potentialities inherent in Tarkovsky’s film image for contemporary creative practices relating to place.
Kreider + O'Leary are a poet and an architect living and working in London.