Planet Tarkovsky – Mother Milk

by Lee-Marie Sadek

After rewatching for several times the movies of russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, it became clearer to me that there is a common recurring subject that is “the Mother”. Whether it is through her physical and biological presence/absence or her geographical metaphor through the nostalgia towards his native country Russia. The movies of Tarkovsky were deeply affected by his “two Mothers” no matter what the story was about, as there were always sequences where the filmmaker would show this mutual affection between the man, the mother and the land.
This was the starting point of this work where I took a complete artistic liberty to visually explore this relation by creating scenes, portraits and landscapes that are made graphically from the sweetest “motherly” substance on Earth that is “Milk” ; a material language that expresses this milk in its nostalgic and cosmic dimensions through its texture and substance.
All this results in a “milky topography” inspired by the works of Tarkovsky and particularly by his tribute to his mother.
The text page included in this work is from the book “L’Eau et les Rêves” – “Water and Dreams : An Essay On the Imagination of Matter” by french philosopher Gaston Bachelard. The translation to English by Edith Farrell reads as follows :
“I am going to try to link up these general remarks by beginning with the perspective of the material imagination. We shall see that the one who nourishes us with her milk, with her own substance, puts her indelible mark on very diverse, distant, and external images, which cannot be correctly analyzed in terms of the usual themes of formal imagination. In the main, I shall show that these highly valorized images have more matter than form. To prove this, I shall make a somewhat closer study of the literary images that aim at compelling natural waters, river and lake waters, even sea waters, to take on a milky appearance and metaphors of milk. I shall show that these absurd metaphors illustrate an unforgettable love.
”Huge thanks to my dear cousins Ronald and Robin for their help.