Vladimir Potapov’s solo exhibition in “Agency. Art Ru” is called “Moment of Collapse”. The subject of the artistic research is the comparison of contemporary Russian statehood and the finished Soviet project. Finished formally – but, in fact, having given many of its elements as a legacy to the current social and political reality. These vestiges may have different names, perform different functions, but their presence is too conspicuous to not require interpretation – as well as by the expressive means of Fine Art. “The former, Soviet, project collapsed. The new goals became democratization, the adherence to the Western market model. Two vectors have been outlined, but as yet it has not been possible to achieve the goals – and it is unlikely that it will be possible. The state of the transitional period is being dragged out and threatens to turn into “something hybrid”, – says the artist. In the artist’s works the visual markers of both vectors are giant fragments of the sculptural composition “The Worker and Collective Farm Girl”, the faces of old people – the builders of the bygone Soviet state, a pompous red star as the crown of a totem pole represented by the Kremlin, and the obligatory Spassky Clock Tower as a metronome of Russian history, as Vladimir Potapov himself put it.
Vladimir Potapov’s project is equally far from both postmodernist irony, levelled at that elapsed epoch, and the poster and propaganda – genres, which have recently been excessively overused and which have thus seriously discredited themselves. “Moment of Collapse” – is not the interpretation of the Soviet myth, but a critical reflection on current themes, expressed in the language and metaphors of contemporary art.
To his thorough realistic style of painting Potapov adds the unusual technique in which these works are executed: each of them was painted in oil on three sheets of plexiglass joined together. The joining with a slight displacement is a technique which carries an important meaning – of distortion, decomposition, collapse.