The day I decided to take up writing a text on Alexander Sliussarev's exhibition at ROSPHOTO, he posted in his regularly updated LiveJournal a photo named "Getting off the trolleybus. Summer 2009". A stout lady is heavily climbing off a high trolleybus step, number plate "3134".

This photo despite the illusion of this scene being a mere random occurrence is by no chance a fortuity. A vehicle that due to crowded city streets can't moor to the sidewalk is stranding passengers on the roadway. A heavy old-fashioned woman's shoe with bow looks as if it was propping up this weak urban vehicle. Dress pleats with pale-yellow ruffles set off trite blue colour of the trolleybus flat side.

When it comes to the art of combination of visual and social aspects Sliussarev is a virtuoso, it's him who said once that what a viewer sees in these photographs depends on the person's individuality, his education etc. People say about him that he can see everything. Even taking into account authors' own words that a photo displayed on a computer screen is like a TV picture, for it has no particular size.

If we assume that perception of a work of art, and photography as a part of it, is mostly unintentional, then works of artist Sliussarev are virtual. They are reborn each time there's connection with new audience. As for conclusions, they shouldn't be drawn (as Sliussarev pointed out on another matter) but after close and everyday contact with photography.

Warned by the author I'm not pushing on with generalizations, although they're usually drawn out of close communication. Well, we shouldn't forget that in his "first life" Alexander Sliussarev is philologist, translator from Italian.

There're no colour photos at this ROSPHOTO exhibition. On the one hand, Sliussarev wants to achieve clearness of perception by not making an eye switch from black-and-white to colour and back. On the other hand, he wants to achieve clearness of the exhibition genre, clearness of a personal project, where all the photographs are left unnamed with only time and place of the shot indicated. Besides he's indirectly referring to his LiveJournal page, and that's a whole different interactive type of perception of the photographs. Moreover, author assumes that black-and-white pictures never stop being popular, because they bring out "delusive magic": a photographer doesn't see the world in this colour spectrum and never knows what is going to come out.

However, each viewer may have different interpretations, it's much more important to see something of your own in Sliussarev's images.

A series of photographs which author sometimes calls "Puberty" pictures vacationists in Malakhovka (an old suburban district, Moscow analogue of St. Petersburg's Sestroretsk) but it has no connection with teenagers' desires. It was created back in 1980-81, and one can see the atmosphere of the end of the epoch captured in a dissonance image of a man wearing swimming trunks and a dressed woman, while both of them are sadly starring at the opposite bank of the river. But over there people who look just the same are having their simple picnic. This suburban village is bristling up unfriendly with high fences, just like Moscow back then filled up with concrete pedestrian subways and pillars in front of entrances to public buildings. Sliussarev converts a metaphor of communication into a metaphor of an obstacle. It was very clear in the "stagnant years". Nowadays a captured in the shot silhouette of an average man wearing thick woolen coat and an average castor hat "averagely" pulled over his eyes may be the key to the photograph. There's a road sign over the underground which says "No stopping".

The black-and-white photographs dated early 90's become very different. A boulevard by the Novodevichy Convent looks as a well-groomed pavement. A glass door is mirroring "decorous" Stary Arbat, nowadays discussions about its street lamps seem very remote. A girl wearing a black leather coat is as impetuous as the capital life itself.

And only a homeless-looking fellow at the bus stop isn't hurrying anywhere. He's holding in each hand big plastic bottles with water called "Cone Forest". I would never believe that it is actually spring water. Sliussarev's hero must have got this water out of the nearest fire-cock, but he's pretending that the liquid is just what the label says. The author is talking about true and false values without excitation and pathos following thus traditions of the unofficial art of the 60-70's which he belonged to back then.

Surely, the country played a trick and a very odd one, just like that pictured on a shot of a Moscow façade: a drainpipe is nobly rounding a gas-main. But leaves are falling and sticking to the wet surface in 2009 just like it was in 1976, with only difference that today's shot captures a leaf cozily settled on a road post. It's a brother to the road posts of Amsterdam, which are among its symbols. But back then in 1976 we had no idea about it.

Vadim Mikhailov