The idea of the exhibition was suggested by Polina Lobachevskaya, director of the AZ Museum, and first received rather skeptically by her colleagues. Maria Revyakina, director of the Theater of Nations, found the project utterly “unexpected.” Zoya Koshelyova, academic director of the Dva Andreya Foundation dedicated to the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, at first “couldn’t see the two artists together.” But over time, everyone not only came around, but embraced the pairing, which was then produced as a multimedia project by Natalya Opaleva.
Lobachevskaya told The Moscow Times that they wanted the show to be “emotional, visceral. The cultural ties with the past had been broken in the Soviet era, but these two artists put the ties back together and united the eras. To let people see that, we had to create an exhibition that would let them feel what united these two artists.”
To this end, the space itself plays a role in the show. Begin on the first floor with biographical and other information about the two artists presented in Russian. From there you can go up to the attic or down into the vaulted basement.
The basement is dedicated to Tarkovsky’s masterpiece, Andrei Rublev. If you’ve seen the film, you will find this part of the show fascinating. There are scripts, notes, and photographs that seem to float out the darkness and follow you. In corners of the brick vaulted space are small screening areas that run key scenes from the movie followed by still photographs of the process of filming what you’ve just seen. A soundtrack plays over it all. If you’ve never seen the movie, watching film clips of medieval Russia in a space that feels like medieval Russia is an evocative introduction.