"Before the abyss of history and the weight of memory", 150x200 cm., primer on canvas, 2023
"All the brilliance and glory of the new", 150x200 cm., primer on canvas, 2023
"Echoes of invisible steps", 150x200 cm., primer on canvas, 2023
"More sad than tragic", 150x200 cm., primer on canvas, 2023
"Passion for life. Between existence and non-existence", 150x200 cm., primer on canvas, 2023
"The building that lost its shadow", 150x200 cm., primer on canvas, 2023
Gallery pop/off/art
12.09 - 15.10
Potapov's works report on this largely forgotten role of art - extremely painful and uncomfortable precisely because only art is able to wrest the horror of the "now" moment from the frame of view, normalizing and reconciling appearances. In order to reveal this potential of the terrible and unbearable, hidden in visible reality, Potapov consistently reveals the possibilities of figurative representation - which is too often accused of conformism and spectacularity.
It can be said that in his works he offers a real genealogy of visibility, dismantling it into its component parts and presenting it as a construct created by the skillful hands of power. Undermining its own integrity, each of the works contains an unconditional moral demand, again and again placing the viewer in a situation of an inexorable choice between black and white.

Ilya Budraitskis

* - The experiment was carried out in 1971. There are two pyramids on the table: black and white. The experiment involves four people who are asked about the color of the pyramids; three of them, by prior agreement with the experimenter, claim that both pyramids are white. The fourth person says the same thing in most cases. An experiment about how difficult it is to resist the majority, so much so that people call black and white, the fear of being alone leads to the fact that people cannot express their opinions.

Black, White and Real

The title "Both White" by Vladimir Potapov is a replica of a well-known psychological experiment*, the participants of which, confirming the colossal power of social conformity, were ready to literally call black white. By deliberately giving a false answer, they not only denied the obvious, but also committed a moral crime. The truth was known to them, but fearing to be in the minority, they were easily ready to betray it. The experiment with two types of pyramids reduces the problem of truth to its most chemically pure expression, suggesting that we always have the opportunity to make a conscious choice between truth and falsehood. The visible, the visible, in this case fully corresponds to the true, and the false cannot be revealed, and is preserved only in words (which always contain the potential for distortion).
However, art turns this idea upside down, proposing to look for truth in representation - that is, in the conscious distortion of the visible, which in itself may turn out to be a delusion. The critical function of art is precisely that it makes us understand: we replace truth with lies not when we refuse to trust our vision, but on the contrary, when we follow its prompting. The experience of the visible too often reconciles us with reality, since it presupposes the coherence, integrity and rationality of what is happening.
Our view, as it were, offers us in advance only what our reason and our moral sense can accommodate. He connects what is unconnected. Justifies what cannot be justified. It comforts and gives a feeling of non-involvement where we are direct accomplices.

35х35 см., glass, pigment, resin, 2014
35х35 см., glass, pigment, resin, 2014
35х35 см., glass, pigment, resin, 2014
35х35 см., glass, pigment, resin, 2014
35х35 см., glass, pigment, resin, 2014
The starting point of the project is the work of 2014 from the February exhibition "Manifestation", when I took the bird pestilence in the summer of 2013 in Moscow as a bad sign and literally a few months later three terrorist attacks occurred in my hometown of Volgograd. And then came 2014 - the moment after which everything began, everything that we are seeing now.