Ernst Kris said, “Great works are great because they are ambiguous.”

Montage of Attractions

Eisenstein’s first film, the revolutionary “Strike,” was produced in 1924, following the publishing of his first article on theories of editing in the review Lef, edited by the great poet, Mayakovsky. He proposed a new editing form, the “montage of attractions” — in which arbitrarily chosen images, independent from the action, would be presented not in chronological sequence but in whatever way would create the maximum psychological impact.

Eisenstein directing
Eisenstein directing actor Boris Zakhava
as Gerasim in the film “Bezhin Meadow”
Thus, the filmmaker should aim to establish in the consciousness of the spectators the elements that would lead them to the idea he wants to communicate. He should attempt to place them in the spiritual state or the psychological situation that would give birth to that idea. He theorized that cinema was a synthesis of art and science. These principles guided Eisenstein’s entire career, and had a major impact on filmmakers to this day for its stark contrast to “American-style” narrative montage.

These are very useful resources.


In dictionary,ambiguity means that an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context. In some sense, ambiguity is the best medium in art,because it brings more possibilities in art. In fact,we can see that many artists prefer this kind of form to create their artworks.

Alec Soth(American Photographer): No single photograph can tell an entire story. But in a sense,I think that this ambiguity is one of the most thrilling aspects of the medium. there is a reason why most photographers choose to isolate and enlarge only the strongest of images, rather than simply exhibiting the entire contact sheets.

Misha Gordin(Photographer): I never once explaining my work. My goal is to show viewers the feeling and thought. I wish they had their own interpretations. I have all kinds of people are interested in different views about my work. Sometimes they even show not known to me. Their opinion is based.

Katrien De Blauwer(Collage artist):I follow my intuition without really knowing what the result will be.There is only the paper fragments around me.Everything else disappears.

In fact, these kinds of unpredictable art works are ambiguous.You cannot exactly define what it is,but you expect to happen.

After tutorial with Jonathan, I did some research for these keywords, which relate to ambiguity in art.
elusive means difficult to describe or skillful at eluding capture
Definition: deceptive
Synonyms: apparent, chimerical, deceitful, delusive, fake, false, illusory, imaginary, misleading, mocking, seeming, sham, unread

allusive is an adjective of allusion meaning
1. the act of alluding
2. an indirect reference; casual mention
reference, mention, hint, suggestion, inference, quotation, citation, remark, statement, connection, implication, indication, connotation, casual reference, indirect reference, denotation, intimation, insinuation, innuendo, implied indication, implied reference, charge, imputation, incidental mention, subtext.

1. tending to elude
2. hard to grasp or retain mentally; baffling
Definition: evasive, mysterious
Synonyms: ambiguous, baffling, cagey, deceitful, deceptive, difficult to catch, elusory, equivocal, evanescent, fallacious, fleeting, fraudulent, fugacious, fugitive, greasy, illusory, imponderable, incomprehensible, indefinable, insubstantial, intangible, misleading, occult, phantom, puzzling, shifty, shy, slippery, stonewalling, subtle, transient, transitory, tricky, unspecific, volatile.

(Interpretation from internet)