Aesthetics of Decay | Andrei Tarkovsky Film Festival


    Andrei Tarkovsky was one of Russia’s most distinguished contemporary directors known for his highly personalized and poetic films. The son of poet Arseniy Tarkovsky, he studied Arabic and worked as a geologist before attending the State Film School in Moscow. Tarkovsky’s films include his 1962 directorial debut Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Mirror, and Stalker. He directed the first five of his seven feature films in Soviet Union while his final films, Nostalghia and The Sacrifice, were produced in Italy and Sweden.

    Throughout his cinematic works, relationships between space and time is explored in abstract, unconventional language that foregrounds the phenomenological basis of autobiography. Themes of nostalgia, memory, spirituality, and decay are consistently recurring motifs in the films. The project attemps to incorporate the essence of Andrei Tarkovsky and his films through a consistent visual language and design deliverables that work together as an integrated system.
    Name and Thread
    The name Aesthetics of Decay encapsulates one the most common theme of Tarkovsky's films, the beauty of decay in the natural cycle of life. 
    Nothing is permanent. Our existence on earth is everchanging, evolving and perishes into dust once it has run its course in time, gaining material weight only in its recollection.
    The photography for this project was created around a central photostory using a consistent color tone and objects seen in reflections.
  • Photostory / Things that passing time left behind, seen through their reflections.
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    The typographic manipulations were made to feel organic and going through a transformation to fit the these of Tarkovsky's films
  • The concept of the poster was to incorporate water decay or distortion in the films of Tarkovsky that closely relates to the thread. These images damaged by water and time are a representation of a half forgotten memory, loss of the soul, and anything temporary in human existence. 
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    A narrative piece designed to showcase all the details of the festival along with information about the director, location, a viewing schedule and everything that attracts the viewer to the festival. Since the catalogue was such an important piece I wanted to make it highly conceptual. The cover is a natural tree bark that represents the cycle of natural decay so often a central theme in Tarkovsky’s movies. I also made a coptic stitch binding to give it a raw and organic feel. The interior of the catalogue however is structured representing the beauty of decay. The typography is small and delicate and incorporates organic and natural movements that embodies the themes of Tarkovsky and his films. Tiny details carry out important information and images are full bleed and continued into next spreads representing our existence that is constantly evolving.

    The advertisements were closely related to the posters and served as announcement and promotional pieces. I intended the ads to be mysterious and intriguing. This was the main reason I included a quote from the movie that would generate some interest in the viewer.  
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    Tickets were amongst the very first things I tried in terms of material exploration and format. I picked broken tiles since most of Tarkovky’s movies shows decay and destruction of concrete along with natural elements. I transfered the designs into the tiles and they looked great as portable tickets that would also work as mementos from the festival. Something that the audience would love to preserve. 
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    The festival schedule had very specific information about the events and location meant for the audience to carry it around during the festival. Hence it had to be lightweight and not too complicated. To keep the feel of the festival and the ease of use in mind, I created a folded piece that had the events separated by day and a pencil attached to it so that the audience could mark the events they wanted to attend.

    The business system consisted of a letterhead, envelope, business cards, a journal planner and stationary.
  • Bussiness CardsIn order to keep the theme of tiles, I designed the bussiness cards as small customized pieces of tiles.
    Letterhead and Bussiness envelope / The envelope was made of fabric with a print inside and the stationary was natural wood pencils which were again unique pieces by themselves.
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    PRODUCT 01

    ESSENCE OF DECAY // The essence of Tarkovsky’s films were the themes that repeated in his movies. The theme of lost innocence, deepest desires, shallow faith and half forgotten memories. A reflection of Tarkovsky’s haunted soul: his search for spirituality, connection, Truth exposed through the indelible images that inevitably define our own imperfect lives,  trivial or mundane.
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    PRODUCT 02

    LIFE CONTAINS DEATH // Tarkovsky believed that death is enclosed in life. Life and death are two elements of nature that goes hand in hand. However, if life could be captured or enclosed through an artistic expression it would live forever.Keeping this thought in mind, I decided to use a lided terrarium. Life captured inside a bottle.
    PRODUCT 03
    LIFE AS REFLECTION // A set of five polaroids from Tarkovsky’s collection of Polaroids printed on damaged tiles. These pieces can be used as edifices of memory, as decorative pieces in the home or as coasters or just simply as mementos. Since Tarkovsky has such a huge collection of polaroids that represented his urge to save each passing moment and keep it forever, the polaroids made a great product that went with the thread of impermanence of our existence and was a way to preserve it. 
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    I kept the website pretty straight forward and simple. The top menu had all the sections so that it can be easily navigated. The visual elements and layout was borrowed from the cataogue and overall system.
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    The location of the festival are unique ones. There are three main locations and all of them are historic sites that have decayed through time. These unique locations in San Francisco, were perfectly suitable for the film festival. I decided that these spaces when branded for the festival would look nice and get the audience into the mood for Tarkovsky’s movies.