By Petar Meseldzija

A frame from the movie Endrei Rublev by Andrei Tarkovsky

Some of you have probably noticed that my posts have become short and somewhat meager lately. One of the main reasons is that, for some time now, my mind has been tormented by my own present artistic infertility and a feeling that I have lost my direction, my compass. Well, this is nothing unusual because all of us experience similar kind of problems at the certain moment in our life. This often marks a turning point, approaching of the crossroads, a transition from one stage, or level, to another. Such a situation inevitably creates a certain amount of turbulence and disorder, since the fundamental and established thoughts, desires and dreams, that have powered our system and allowed it to be stable and to function optimally, for a certain reason start to move and shake.

I have reached the place in my artistic career which I was longing for to arrive at for many preceding years. This kind of longing of mine does not exists anymore, it has fulfilled its function by bringing me to the desired spot. No longing, no motivation. No motivation, no creative vitality. However uncomfortable and disturbing, this turbulence and the mental pain and disorientation that goes with it, has forced me to reconsider the very motifs for becoming an artist and for spending the biggest portion of my life on making art.

As a result of this struggle I came up with a statement that is supposed to help me find a new sense of direction and purpose, and therefore revitalize the creative spirit in me. It is expressed through the following words:

– If my work (art) keeps me from doing a backbreaking physical work, or a mind numbing monotonous kind of work, and helps me feed myself and my family, it’s good!

– If it helps me express my mental and emotional issues, it’s excellent.

– If it helps others to get closer to their own heart, it’s useful.

– If it helps me get famous and rich, it’s seductive and tricky.

– If it guides me through my inner Dark Forest, helps me slain dragons and demons, or make them my friends and allies, and shows me the way out of it to a sunny meadow, it’s wondrous, it fulfills its holy purpose and justifies itself.

One of the reasons I am revealing this rather intimate issue to you is that I know that there are many souls out there who are having, or will have in the future, the same kind of issues with themselves and their art. My confession will not solve your problem, but it might help a little by showing you that you are not alone in this struggle, that even the accomplished and “successful” among us have to deal with these things sooner or later, in one or another way. It might help you realize that perhaps you too have to come up with some kind of statement that will calm down your psyche and help you regain the balance and peace of mind. As it has always been, the ways of the World are often seductive and misleading, and there is always a price tag attached to it.

In that respect, I was delighted to discover that a much bigger artist and a greater mind than myself has defined art and its purpose in a similar way. Below you can find out what Andrei Tarkovsky (1932 Zavrazhye, Soviet Union – 1986 Paris, France), one of the greatest Russian movie directors, said about ART. The films of Andrei Tarkovsky have been revered as ranking on a par with the masterpieces of Russia’s novelists and composers. His work, from films such as Ivan’s Childhood , Andrey Rublev , Solaris, Stalker, has had an enormous influence on the style of contemporary European film.