Robert Bird: Everything There Is, Is Light: Andrey Tarkovsky and American Experimental Film (the case of Stan Brakhage)
June 20, 19:00
Garage Museum Auditorium

Organised in collaboration with USA embassy in Moscow
In 1983 Andrey Tarkovsky visited Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, invited by the experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage. In addition to a screening of Nostalgia and Tarkovsky's small retrospective, Brakhage's new film Hell Spit Flexion debuted at the festival. Brakhage took advantage of the visit and acquainted the Soviet colleague with his own work, projecting several films on the wallpaper in his hotel room in an intolerable heat. Brakhage's remarkable account on this (non-)encounter with Tarkovsky is a unique report on Tarkovsky's stance on experimental cinema. Based on that memoir, the lecture poses a question on common tendencies in Tarkovsky's work and history of American experimental film (from Maya Deren to Nathan Dorsky) and also on experimental qualities of Tarkovsky's own oeuvre.
Professor in the Departments of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Cinema and Media Studies at The University of Chicago Robert Bird's primary area of interest is the aesthetic practice and theory of Russian/Soviet modernism. He has published books on Andrei Tarkovsky among others, and essays on a variety of topics in Russian literature, intellectual history, film and video art, including the filmmakers Aleksandr Medvedkin, Aleksandr Sokurov and Olga Chernysheva. Most recently he was co-editor (with Christina Kiaer and Zachary Cahill) of Revolution Every Day: A Calendar (Mousse Publishing, 2017), the catalogue to the eponymous exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.He is currently completing a book 'Soul Machine: Soviet Film Models Socialism,' which analyzes the rise of socialist realism as a modeling aesthetic, and is beginning a new book 'Underground: The History of a Conceptual Image'.

Robert Bird
Film historian and researcher