“The author does not claim to reveal the result of a large-scale study of the “mysterious Russian soul” in this album. These pictures, which were taken in the early eighties of the past century in a small district center and in the surrounding villages, bear witness to the author’s personal relationship to life’s realities at that time.
A tiny fragment of that reality, this album will not show you several elements of socialist life, such as its political, ideological and military features, space research, the great constructions of the century… But was any of these characteristic of the Russian countryside and its quiet provincial life? I’d say rather not than yes. At that time we were not fully aware of the striking changes and achievements of the “developed socialism”. And it was primarily because of our provincialism that we did not become dissidents either. I, as an amateur photographer, wanted to capture at that time the true image of people living around me, without unnecessary complexity, prejudice and hypocrisy, those fundamental, true, even if not always sound features which bind together the generations in Russia. May the viewer, browsing the album, take the irony of the author not as an end in itself, but as an element of the decorum loci. After all, in those years of half-truth, the only remedy against lies was irony.
Today my long-standing wish has been fulfilled with this album. You will judge whether successfully or not. Twenty-five years have passed since then. And as the saying goes – all is more visible from a distance.”