To All The Former Angels

Photographs by Andrey Tarkovsky, Wim Wenders and Sergei Parajanov

White Space Gallery in collaboration with Cultural Dialogue presents a unique exhibition of photographs and collages by three great film directors: Andrey Tarkovsky, Wim Wenders and Sergei Parajanov.

The title of this exhibition is a reference to the closing title of Wim Wenders’ film Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin): “Dedicated to all the former angels, but especially to Yasujiro, François and Andrej.”

Andrey Tarkovsky (1932 – 1986) is widely considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers the world has ever known. He made just eight feature films before his life was cut tragically short by cancer, at the age of 54 in 1986. Each film is an artistic masterpiece and a major landmark in world cinema. The exhibition will present a portfolio of rare Polaroids courtesy of the Florence-based Tarkovsky Foundation. Michaelangelo Antonioni had given the filmmaker his much loved Polaroid camera, which rarely left his side. The exhibition features photographs taken in Russia and Italy between 1979-1984, ranging from romantic landscapes to private shots of his family and friends.

The show pairs Tarkovsky’s polaroids and Wim Wenders large-scale photograph “In Germany I” from the Places Strange and Quite series starting 1983 to 2011. Director Wim Wenders (born 1945), one of the most successful contemporary filmmakers, has been documenting his global wanderings since the early 80s. “When I look at a map, the names of mountains, villages, rivers, lakes or landscape formations excite me, as long as I don’t know them and have never been there”. Like Tarkovsky who took most of his polaroids in search of the location of the Nostalgia film in Italy, Wenders has been building a large collection of photographic work -panoramic landscapes, offbeat encounters and ghostly visions, since searching for location for his film Paris Texas in 1984. “I seem to have sharpened my sense of place for things that are out of place…When you travel a lot, and when you love to just wander around and get lost, you can end up in the strangest spots.” – says Wenders.

Sergei Parajanov (1924 – 1990) is one of the most daring and visionary directors to emerge from the former Soviet Union. Fellini, Antonioni and Tarkovsky hailed him as a “genius”, “magician” and without doubt “a master”. His unique, explosive cinematic language has no equal in the world of cinema. In spite of his international acclaim, Parajanov was a constant target for the Soviet authorities. No other director suffered as much as Parajanov; he was arrested twice on fabricated charges and as a result spent five years in hard labour camps. After his release he was not allowed to work for fifteen years, and deprived of the opportunity to make films, dedicated his life to making collages, drawings and other art forms. Parajanov won countless awards, including the BAFTA for the film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. A great friendship between Tarkovsky and Parajanov began in the early 1970s in Kiev – now in the Ukraine. Tarkovsky and Parajanov met just months before he was imprisoned. They regarded each other as equals and were inspiratied by each other’s work. Tarkovsky wrote often to Parajanov, sometimes sending artistic collages in exchange for the ones Parajanov made for him in prison. The show presents a portfolio of photo collages and other works by Sergei Parajanov produced together with the Parajanov Museum in Yerevan, Armenia, founded in 1988 when Parajanov moved there from Tbilisi, Georgia.