The film and photographs capture the steady elements of daily life in the remote areas of the region. Creaking wooden houses; a child looks into a mirror; a derelict church is repaired; cattle drink from the river; simple hospitality; bread is delivered; laundry is washed in the slowly-flowing river. Life is basic, stripped down to basic elements of food and fuel. Summer is short and glorious;, as it ebbs and the winds grow colder, the colours fade out of the land.
“Tarkovsky's River” brings together still and moving images that refer in substance to the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, though the cinematic style itself is not imitative. The work is not “about Tarkovsky” but is about the experience of being in the same place, reaching back to locate memory. And about going beyond that specific place and into a deeper sense of the land, and of time itself, which is where Tarkovsky takes us.
[PHOTOS: Tarkovsky's River in the exhibition Rivers at Photomonth: East London Festival of Photogrpahy 2011]
“Tarkovsky's River” was initiated during a series of visits to the Volga region; images and moments captured in 150 35mm still slides and digital video tapes . From the late 90's, I spent a period of time going often to that part of the world, where I was involved in doing things like making TV programmes and art projects. Finally back home, I tried to unravel the material I had accumulated and tried to understand what it all meant. I had Tarkovsky to help me - his films and Sculpting in TIme. Yet, was he a help or a hindrance? After all, it was he who had led me there in the first place.
The stils were first exhibited as a slideshow at Photocinema, the Forum Festival of Photography in 2009, and the response I got to that spurred me to continue the project. With the publicatio of the book, by Parallel Project, it is finally complete, and is available for exhibition.