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| Jun 24, 2010|
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"The artist's inspiration comes into being somewhere in the deepest recesses of his "I". It cannot be dictated by external, 'business' considerations. It is bound to be related to his psyche and his conscience; it springs from the totality of his world-view. If it is anything less, then it is doomed from the outset to be artistically void and sterile. It is perfectly possible to be a professional director or a professional writer and not be an artist: merely a sort of executor of other people's ideas.
True artistic inspiration is always a torment for the artist, almost to the point of endangering his life. Its realisation is tantamount to a physical feat. This is the way it has always been, despite the popular misconception that pretty well all we do is tell stories that are as old as the world, appearing in front of the public like old grannies with scarves on our heads and our knitting in our hands to tell them all sorts of tales to keep them amused. The tale may be entertaining or enthralling, but will do only one thing for the audience: help them pass the time in idle chatter.
The artist has no right to an idea to which he is not socially committed, or the realisation of which could involve a dichotomy between his professional activity and the rest of his life. In our personal lives we perform actions, as honourable or dishonourable people. We accept that an honourable action may bring pressure down on us, or even bring us into conflict with our milieu. Why are we not prepared for the trouble that can ensue from our professional activities? Why are we afraid of being called to task when we embark on a film? Why do we start by taking out an insurance that the picture will be as innocuous as it is meaningless? Is it not because we want to receive instant remuneration for our work in the form of cash and comfort? One can only be staggered by the hubris of modern artists if we compare them, say, to the humble builders of Chartres Cathedral whose names are not even known. The artist ought to be distinguished by selfless devotion to duty; but we forgot that a long time ago." - Sculpting In Time, Andrei Tarkovsky