There are a two or three copies for sale. Before the crisis I gave for 1500 ₽, now the price is 3000 ₽. With an autograph, if necessary. Self-carriage or mailing.
There was a time in my life when I decided to learn how to take pictures. Courses were rejected without a word.
I took my camera, the Olympus C3000. A 3mpx semi-professional camera, they said it was a shutterbug.
It was 2001.
And I went to the subway to photograph people invisibly. I went out a few times. Usually in the evening. I was talented then, and talent was cleaner.
Now I thank my fate that I am a photographer and know a little bit of HTML.
I wanted to master the design-for-web profession.
I was good at doing straight portraits and doing it discreetly. I was young so people didn't see me as an american spy or terrorist.
I could stand in front of a person and do a portrait, pretending I was setting up my camera. Anyway, the first thing I learned was how to hide the fact that I wasn't taking pictures.
After the asylum, the skill went to sleep.
Now if I take out my camera, I get stares, if in the subway, then the whole wagon.
Anyway, “METRO” is my first photo story. I started with it. Unfortunately, I stopped shooting there about eight years ago. There were two exhibitions abroad, thanks to Nastya Khoroshilova and the Rodchenko School.
And a zine published by Sasha Marshani in august 2020.
Circulation of 100 pieces, about 30 pages. Printed by Sasha on his risograph.
To me, the subway represents communist hell. Many people don't see what I see — I mean space. For me, the subway is a scary underground.
I used to live on Savelovsky, and I used to go to school on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
And so, every morning, I participated in a cuddling session in this sweat lodge. It was a two-station ride, I used to count the seconds until I reached Tsvetnoy.
I thanked a higher power when there was room between the seats and the sliding doors. I could have a place to lean on.
I tried to be first in escalator martial arts. Didn't perceive it that way at the time.
I had to get off the train and be the first to step on the escalator steps.
Going up, I would often move up through the stairs, and for some reason I was very happy when I was the first to get off the subway, leaving everyone who came out with me behind.
And I could go down to the platform on the escalator at breakneck speed on the verge of a one-move-and-fuck-up.
While I was working at the newspaper, the Stolichnaya Vechernaya, I continued to take my “metro photos” in between shootings. I put them in black and white, and shot them with a shutter speed of 1/25 sec, that's why they turned out dark. Then I put them in black and white.
Studying at the Rodchenko School, in my second year I took photos of the subway. Three weeks every other day, after three days, after five days, I would ride the subway and take pictures on purpose.
When European curators were choosing which photo story to take to Europe for the exhibition, they chose “METRO”, although there is “The Quiet Ward” about my being in a mental hospital and shooting in Primorsky — the southernmost resort in Odessa region — where I have a house, I mean a dacha, which is my family. A lot of time was spent on these three projects — about ten years each, if not more.
In general, in my mind, the Moscow subway is such a marble hell. There's a subdued photographic light. And the wagons are cameras. Think about it, they're not doors, they're camera shutters.
In short, a dark place. It is not pleasant to be in it. But it is interesting to take pictures. There's a lot of interesting dark and a little bit of light texture.
Why dark? Well, I'm a native citizen of Moscow, and I still don't remember the subway map, which hangs in every car in three or four places. There are some routes of my own. If I take a new route, I look at the map. There's no way to remember it, because it's hell.
About eight years ago, or even earlier, I decided that my subway filming was primarily documentary and secondarily fashion.
Fashion for me is not the clothes the models are wearing, which is trendy for the season, but something that makes a person stand out from the crowd and allows me to take a photo. Fashions haven't changed in years.
Maybe I'll continue, who knows.
Opalikha, Krasnogorsk. November 28, 2022