The Borsec Festival, organized in Romania/Borsec, is brought to life by poet and artist Florin Dan Prodan since 2006. In the activity, Tarkovsky’s memorable movie “Stalker” is highlighted and “Zone” takes its place in Borsec. The Festival, organized under the name “Inside Zone,” hosts artists of different disciplines with an international approach. Not only video art, painting or installation works are exhibited but also the poets take their place with their poems. We interviewed Florin Dan not only about the Borsec Festival but also about his works in general and Tarkovsky.
In your works, generally, the prominent Russian movie director Tarkovsky is highlighted and there are always references to him. First of all, I would like to ask the reason why you focus on Tarkovsky so much?
Well, maybe his influence is not in all my work, that is literary mainly, but in some adjacent or underground ways it is. I discovered his work in the nineties and like it a lot. I think I already had some hints at that time on this type of art but he and few other ‘guides’ were important for me. When you search you find or sometimes what you search finds you. Also, during years, there were some coincidences, significant coincidences, as the ‘accident’ of discovering in 2006 Borsec’s upper town area where I discovered the Zone and where the residency is.
In your works, particularly the movie “Stalker” is highlighted. What makes “Stalker” so different from other Tarkovsky movies for you?
Many Tarkovsky’s fans and critics consider “Stalker” his masterpiece. However, I would say it is unique. There were attempts to do something similar or to be compared to but no one did it yet, I think. The movie can be different only for one reason: the mystery is always fresh there and it looks that it comes from poetry, from that combination between visual and poetry. I remember him saying at some point something like this: that you (as creator, artist, poet etc.) don’t need to show nothing to the audience just to wind a curtain. So, regarding your question and my relation with “Stalker” I would say that I just let things happen without to influence the way. As it is once you’re into the Zone from his movie.
The “Zone” is also a place mentioned in the movie, a place that is forbidden and is believed to be a place where wishes come true. The activities you organize are titled “Inside Zone.” What kind of connections you seem to established between the “Zone,” “Inside Zone,” and “Borsec?”
It is somehow explained a bit on my previous questions. The Borsec area is very similar with the one from movie, the residency and the festival (www.insidezone.eu) are a fact, product of this similarities. Artists or writers that come there are feeling this and their work is in a way inspired by the place from the movie and the real area of this small Carpathians mountains town. I would say very metaphorically that Zone is something real that is travelling around the universe…sometimes it stops here and there…it was around Borsec town for a while that’s for sure…
In Tarkovsky movies, certain shifts in places, spaces and time can be observed and similar shifts can be observed in poetry. You are also a poet. What do you think about the parallels between poetry and Tarkovsky movies?
His father was a great Russian poet, he is considered the founder of poetical cinema. That explains a lot. In poetry time has a special quality, like getting wings to get out of it, in his movies is the same.
In your works, “Stalker” is highlighted and that’s why I would like to ask you this question that the movie is also said to be highlighting: “If you had the chance to realize your deepest wish, would you really want it?”
Hard to answer! It can be like this: ‘Not yet’ or even ‘No’.
You participate in festivals or organize exhibitions not only in Romania but also in different countries. The last one was in Copenhagen. Can you tell us about these efforts of yours?
Copenhagen has a lot of interesting artists, writers and fans of Tarkovsky. In a month I’ll do same project in a Seoul festival and I am sure would be somehow the same atmosphere. It was very pleasant to exhibit in Denmark and to talk with the audience. Connecting with other artists, getting inside the contemporary worldwide art is essential. I would say for the future of all humans and humanity. You may stay a lot in your studio or on your room and write but before shutting the door you need to grab stuff and ideas from all kind of people, to kept them in your mind and soul.