Tuesday 13 September 2011

the mirror and beyond

If you throw even a cursory glance into the past, at the life which lies behind you, not even recalling its most vivid moments, you are struck every time by the singularity of the events in which you took part, the unique individuality of the characters whom you met. This singularity is like the dominant note of every moment of existence; in each moment of life, the life principle itself is unique.
The artist therefore tries to grasp that principle and make it incarnate, new each
time; and each time he hopes, though in vain, to achieve an exhaustive image of the Truth of human existence. The quality of beauty is in the truth of life, newly assimilated and imparted by the artist, in fidelity to his personal vision.

Andrei Tarkovsky, from Sculpting in Time

There's another kind of language, another form of communication: by means of feeling, and images. That is the contact that stops people being separated from each other, that brings down barriers. Will, feeling, emotion — these remove obstacles from between people who otherwise stand on opposite sides of a mirror, on opposite sides of a door. . . The frames of the screen move out, and the world which used to be partitioned off comes into us, becomes something real.

from a letter of a young girl to her mother, in which she writes about Tarkovsky's films, as quoted in Sculpting in Time



  1. Beautiful Roxana, oh so breathlessly beautiful...

    I have to remember to breathe sometimes, when beholding your creations...

  2. An *exhaustive* image of the truth of human existence?

    This sounds so anti-modern! And is a true image ever 'exhausted'?

    We see through a glass darkly...?

  3. I dreamed I looked in a mirror once, and was surprised to find that I was you.

  4. i love this quote from the book:

    "And once you have understood it, you remain for ever under the spell of its beauty and of your initial rapture."

  5. La Tarkovsky cred ca nu puteau ajunge decat aceste fotografii:)Si imi spun atata,mie,privirile tinerei:prima statica,detasata,totusi atenta,parca golita de orice ar putea-o opri,cu o tenta vag japoneza;a doua,dezvaluind o gravitate si puloverul care nu putea fi decat european,insa contururile deja s-au dizolvat mult,pentru ca e o frantura care pare,mai degraba,un instantaneu,un detaliu in care te vezi,o clipa,in gravitatea aceea calma,chiar dca n-ai sti nimic,si tot iti vine in minte acel de-a pururea tat twam asi-nu stiu daca am retinut bine ce era mai important:)
    da,si opalinul lumanarilor,gata sa lumineze oricand acele tuse imprastiate pe ziduri,intr-un continuu rotocol,langa incremenirea expresiei...da,cat ne aduc,toate astea,si mai mult impreuna,printre toate proiectiile care isi dau mai si mai incolo marginile.

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  7. A complex man he was, Andrey Tarkovsky. Same as his father was, a fine poet:
    "...There, in the outdoor troubling stillness,
    Somewhere beyond my existence and dreams,
    Covered in red, blue or gold - will be needless
    Memory to her, needless memory of me..."
    Keep digging, Ms. R, I like what you bring up from teh depth of your mind.

  8. Singularity, yes perhaps--but there is propinquity too ( a singularity in its own way). (he's working toward a unified theory)

    Images can touch one's core... yes, she proves this weekly. In his Theory-Of-Everything, the week [sic] force governs the decay of unstable subatomic particles. Now, do you see what you do, dearest...?

  9. Love the colors, the mystery, and as I often say of your portraiture, the fairy tale it awakens in me. Like an ice princess held prisoner in her castle, or "mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all" from Snow White, or Alice entering the looking glass. That washy looking background is amazing and I love the half shrouded face on the second one. I can't help myself! I'm enchanted.

  10. Myn herte desireth folie evere in oon.
    Liyng, long yherd quarks, loothly mesons, mullock
    Thise foure gleedes longen unto mowled fruyt

    Alderfirst, myn sovereyn entente
    Mysgovernaunce, smoklees route, lustynesse
    Saucefleemed tombesteres

    Yet I digresseth I drede
    Al by hirselve the wenche stelen the light
    Graunt mercy alderlevest of the brigge

  11. hello beautiful Roxana, I really do feel it is sad when a commentator rebells against what a journalist says, especially in such beautiful powerful art as yours
    instead of listening quietly to the various shades of truth that only a calm mind and heart can thread with the thread of existence.

    I too am enchanted with this photo a magical moment of a mirrored past where the sky is reflected in the sea until the two blend indiscernably

    to continue

  12. I think of your grapes in the last post, the grapes that will be crushed into the wine of life each grape contains all the possibilities of existence and the best wine is made when feeling and emotion remove obstacles between people and cultures,nations and races and the time frame is no longer relevant to taste the fruit of the vine, when we can go back to the beginnings where our brothers of humanity painted in caves and the colorful profusion of feeling takes down obstacles

    sending you kisses from the vine
    thankyou for this magnificent masterpeice.

  13. perfect pictures for these words ... they pull me like the poles of a magnet ... pictures dense with meaning beyond what these or any words can say, the texture and weave of being, of the encounter across the mirror / world with the other, the self ... the photos are beautiful ... she is beautiful ...

  14. La vie n'est qu'une succession de passages, de traversées. Nous passons d'une pièce à une autre, d'un lieu vers un autre lieu, d'un état d'âme à un autre, d'un regard à un autre regard...
    Cet autre est en permanence un inconnu qui reste à découvrir quand bien même nous croyons le connaitre !
    C'est dans le moment du passage qu'est possible la création, l'invention, la prise de risque. L'artiste est en permanence dans cet entre-deux pour exprimer sa vision du monde, travailler autour de l'objet du manque.
    Ce que tu exprimes ici Roxana semble avant tout la solitude de l'Homme face à sa propre perception de l'autre. Le miroir ne nous renvoit pas d'image mais le regard d'un autre, d'un inconnu que nous découvrons chaque jour dans les différents passages de la vie.
    Le miroir est le reflet de ce que nous pensons être devenu, mais pas notre réelle image !
    Seuls les yeux des autres sont notre miroir, notre lieu de perception de ce que nous sommes en tant qu'individus.
    L'artiste a la liberté d'inventer des images fausses mais ne restitue jamais la réalité.
    Pris dans nos représentations, nous créons en permanence le monde, la vie que nous croyons être fidèle à la réalité du monde.
    En fait, il n'y a rien de vrai, pas de certitudes mais uniquement soi et le reste du monde ! Tout reste à inventer !
    Bises Roxana ;)

  15. die Frau im Spiegel erscheint wie ein Portrait, die Stimmung im schönen Bild fühlt sich an wie aus einer anderen Zeit, passend zu den interessanten Textpassagen... doch Du weisst, ich bin kein Freund von Tarkovskij und sehe die Lebenserfahrung etwas anders als er, denn will man einen Moment festhalten, so kann man nur daran verzweifeln. Warum soll man ihn nich in sich tragen und ihm die Freiheit geben, sich zu verändern, die Einstellung zu ihm anders werden zu lassen und doch, ihm seinen tiefen Wert zu lassen?!
    Ein Post, das zum Nachdenken anregt, geheimnisvoll bist Du immer, liebste Prinzessin!
    Bis bald, alles Liebste Dir!

  16. Owen, please do, we need you, both here on the Bridge and especially on the stage of the Magic Lantern Show :-)

    billoo, well, if some people believe that they see clearly through a transparent glass, for ex., it is surely their right to assert this opinion, as it is yours to keep yourself in the dark :-) besides, i don't think that an artist's statement about his own art, or aesthetic vision, or art in general, can be subject to such criticism, if he says that, in his art, he tries to achieve an exhaustive image of the truth of human existence, it is simply his own vision and truth and it doesn't matter at all whether others agree or not. you can make your own films to express your own vision about art, if you find Tarkovsky's silly :-)
    and since when 'anti-modern' bothers you, the arduous supporter of the middle ages?! :-)

    it is not my position or wish to 'defend' Tarkovsky here, i will only point out that he himself speaks of the artist's failure to achieve this ever-desired exhaustive image of the Truth (and don't worry, i know that such words in capital letters irritate you instantly, i had the immense pleasure to read your blog for years, i hope you will re-open it someday ;-).

  17. ah, Dan in his borgesian stance! :-)

    anon, thank you for a wonderful quote... perhaps the opposite is also true, if not even more so, if such a thing is possible: by not understanding at all, one remains forever under the spell...

    Cerasela, e de-ajuns să citesc despre opalinul lumânărilor şi să ştiu că este acolo o poezie scrisă de tine :-)
    mulţumesc, draga mea, pentru cum ştii tu întodeauna să descoperi şi să faci să reverbereze toate lumile mele, în toate oglinzile noastre, nesfârşite...

    Michael T., why does this not surprise me? :-)
    (such lines as: Broken, they lie broken,
    The dreams, upon this degenerate waste,
    Where the tombstone's cracks echo
    The entrance to the womb

    are for me a kind of tarkovskyan vision, words as powerful as images, here, perhaps even more :-)

  18. Admiration for the thaumaturge's cleverness. Oh, Joyce, Chaucer, understanding! Forsooth, aforesaid, how easy the play-pen gets, now the adults are dead. A broad smile is seldom deep.

  19. ah, Mr. Nostalgia, what a pleasure to find you here again, but of course, it is Tarkovsky's art which lured you back, not mine :-)
    the lines you quote are wonderful, and yes, i love his father's poems...

    but what could the tiny and humble Bridge possible do to such extravagant people who are already gardeners and magicians and alchemists etc., among other things? :-)
    (except make them speak in ancient languages and work on unified garden-bridge-theories :-)

    Stickup, how i love to know that you are enchanted :-) yes, i had luck with that washy background, as you say, to disclose the mystery (should i? :-), i took the pictures in a very beautifully and interestingly decorated cafe (by a happy coincidence, they also have the most amazing hot chocolate there :-)

    Prospero, again,

    i was so sure you would meet the challenge :-) and now i thrilled with it, and i can't help myself presenting you with another challenge (the Bridge is dangerous that way :-): what about making a film with the poem recited, in tune with your wonderful music? :-)

    ah, dear Madeleine, i like your connection between the grapes and this post, the grape as a metaphor for creativity and life's richness, for feeling and emotion against the sterile works of the intellectual mind :-)
    and as always, i am touched that the Bridge's harmony is so dear to you.
    i have grapes on my table even now, when i am writing and sending you kisses... :-)

  20. ah, dear Madeleine, i like your connection between the grapes and this post, the grape as a metaphor for creativity and life's richness, for feeling and emotion against the sterile works of the intellectual mind :-)
    and as always, i am touched that the Bridge's harmony is so dear to you.
    i have grapes on my table even now, when i am writing and sending you kisses... :-)

    James, i knew you would like the weaving of here and beyond in these pictures, the mirroring of self and threshold, such themes are essential to your poetry, i think... thank you for your, as always, so generous words.

  21. ah Jeff, je te remercie de tout coeur pour ce long et 'serieux' commentaire, tu sais ce qui m'arrive?! je suis parfaitement d'accord avec toi ici, sur tous les points, et tu as tout exprime mieux que moi je ne le pourrais faire maintenant, quand j'ai les images qui parlent pour moi :-)
    (et de tels lecteurs que toi pour enrichir mes images avec leur philosophie :-)

    je vais seulement dire que le theme du 'je est un autre' (tu es tellement rimbaldien ici) est constamment present sur le Pont, je t'envoie a une serie ancienne qui dit la meme chose:

    old selves

    je t'embrasse, fidele ami...

    liebste Wolkenprinzessin, ja, ich weiss sehr gut, dass Du Tarkovskij nicht magst :-) aber ich erinnere mich auch daran, wie Du geantwortest hast, als ich mich darueber wunderte, dass Du Interesse an Proust zeigst, der ist doch genau so 'vergangenheitsgebunden' wie T. - und Du hast gesagt, mit einem wunderschoenen, tief-ernsten und aufrichtigen Gesichtsausdruck (oder so stelle ich mir Deinen Gesichtsausdruck damals vor): 'ich interessiere mich an alles, was ein Mensch je gefuehlt und gedacht hat'. ja, ich auch, genau so :-)

    sei ganz lieb umarmt (und bis sehr bald :-)

  22. comme tu es jolie roxana !
    j'aime beaucoup ces mots : "in fidelity to his personal vision"


  23. De l'autre côté du miroir...je n'ai pas osé ajouter quelque chose...mais je suis venue...forcément !
    Bises Roxana

  24. anon (the last one), i confess you lost me here, i don't know to what you are referring in this comment.

  25. Karine, merci pour le compliment, pourtant ce n'est pas moi dans le miroir :-)))

    K'line - pas besoin d'ajouter des mots quand on se rencontre comme nous le faisons, de l'autre cote du miroir, ou dans le miroir-meme :-)

  26. and as to me, I am struck each time by the beauty and singularity of your photos...