When Sergey Parajanov passed away, I was left with pain, sorrow, regret and an immense photo archive. Practically every day of our almost 12 year long relationship was filmed by me.
Sergey was fond of being photographed, quite often was the author of the compositions, which later proved to be the best. I indulged him with photographs and part of them he immediately autographed and gave away, the rest he used for his numerous collages. Parajanov praised me for my shots in every way, saying: ”Take my photographs more often, your (?!) future is in them.” But once he sent me an amazing letter.
My dear and beloved Yura!
I beg of you not to take my photographs anymore. You have created the splendid portrait of me and that is enough for a life. Don’t shoot me with your camera. You have taken approximately 1000 photographs, related to me. Even sold at 10 kopeks each it will make the sum, which I will never be able to pay. I am tired of struggling with my conscience every time I receive another set. Believe me, I spare your creative potential and love you very much!!!
Sergey was right- even in his lifetime, and even more after his death, there was a great demand for my photographs of Parajanov for various publications, exhibitions, films, sculptural compositions… I even managed to buy my first, though second hand, automobile with the payment I got for one of them. These photographs, some copyrighted, some not, have been spread all over the world. As for me, I’ve been haunted by an ambitious thought to see my best shots of Sergey Iosifovich gathered under one cover. I made a few attempts to compose a layout, but every time something went wrong, I was not satisfied.
About two years ago my old friend, a writer and a director, Levon Grigorian advised me to give the book the title “Sergey Parajanov. The Chronicle of a Dialogue”, in which I would speak in more detail about my relationship with Parajanov. This title predetermined the concept and the architectonic of the book, and the work started.
Now the book is in front of you. It is the tribute to the memory of the great artist, who with his life and work has influenced and still continues to influence those of the new generation who crave for true, elevating art. Personally I have been taught much by Parajanov, though his lessons were at times extremely hard to take for the man who was far from the world of beauty then. While working with him I was never tired to get amazed how he got the supreme cinematographic quality by daringly putting together the most controversial things.
I would like the reader of this edition to be able to get an access to the extraordinary, fantastic world, to the universe, whose name is Sergey Parajanov.
more about the great photographer Yuri Mechitoy on his website: www.mechitov.net