Quoted from the brilliant mind and right sight of Andrey Tarkovsky...
"Modern art has taken a wrong turn in abandoning the search for the meaning of existence in order to affirm the value of the individual for its own sake. What purports to be art begins to look like an eccentric occupation for suspect characters who maintain that any personalized action is of intrinsic value simply as a display of self-will. But in artistic creation the personality does not assert itself, it serves another, higher and communal idea. The artist is always a servant, and is perpetually trying to pay for the gift that had been given to him as if by a miracle. Modern man, however, does not want to make any sacrifice, even though true affirmation of self can only be expressed in sacrifice. We are gradually forgetting about this, and at the same time, inevitabley, losing all sense of our human calling...
The absolute is only attainable through faith and the creative act
In science, at the moment of discovery, logic is replaced by intuition. In art, as in religion, intuition is tantamount to conviction, to faith. It is a state of mind, not a way of thinking.
The artist reveals his world to us, and forces us either to believe in it or to reject it as something irrelevant and unconvincing. In creating an image he subordinates his own thought, which becomes insignificant in the face of that emotionally perceived image of the world that had appeared to him like a revelation. For thought is brief, whereas the image is absolute. Art acts above all on the soul, shaping its spiritual structure.
The artist has a duty to be calm. He has no right to show his emotion, his involvement, to go pouring it all out at the audience. Any excitement over a subject must be sublimated into an Olympian calm of form. That is the only way in which an artist can tell of the things that excite him.
The beautiful is hidden from the eyes of those who are not searching for the truth, for whom it is contra-indicated.
Modern mass culture, aimed at the 'consumer', the civilization of prosthetics, is crippling people's souls, setting up barriers between man and the crucial questions of his existence, his consciousness of himself as a spiritual being.
The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good."