28.04 - 26.05.2011
The collapse of the Soviet Union and its consequences have been repeatedly comprehended and continue to serve as food for thought for political and philosophical par excellence, but they also provide fertile ground for interpretations in line with contemporary art, given that a twenty-year time distance allows one to look at a large-scale historical layer with a certain degree of abstraction. The artist Vladimir Potapov offers a similar interpretation in the project "The Moment of Decay". It was based on the artist's reflection on the relationship between the Soviet past and the Russian present and those connecting elements that provide a sometimes shaky, but still continuity of Russian reality - political and symbolic in equal measure.

The artist does not pursue provocative goals, and yet "The Moment of Disintegration" carries provocation immanently, with inherent necessity: after all, the theme of the project is still very relevant, still remaining "at the forefront" of Russian - at least - public consciousness. The elements and symbols appearing in Potapov's works actually exist in him at the level of archetypes: the Kremlin star, Mukhin's "Worker and Collective Farm Girl", the chimes of the Spasskaya Tower do not need additional decoding, carrying self-evident historical and cultural meanings. Scrapping, changing these meanings in visually unchanged objects inherited from the Soviet project, becomes the focus of the artist's attention.
The ambivalence of the issue of The Moment of Disintegration is evident: being, on the one hand, significantly discredited in recent years, it has, of course, already found its niche in contemporary art.
Analyzing the established Soviet myth, including through the parallel formation of post-Soviet and post-ideological mythology. Making its own attempt at analysis, The Moment of Decay offers a variant of a new myth of the Soviet symbolic heritage.

Formally not belonging to any art school, either Western or Russian, Potapov, nevertheless, pays a certain tribute to Moscow conceptualism, traditionally oriented towards the social and functional context, but revealed through the features of artistic expression. The semantic component of the "Moment of Disintegration" is also contained in the very technique of performing the works. The combination of the realism of the subject matter and the distortion achieved by shifting the layers of the plexiglass onto which it is applied provides a clear emphasis on the "over-atomization" of objects, which the artist accurately notices. An essential point: the chronological non-inclusion of young art provides it with a proper measure of objectivity of view, but what is especially characteristic of The Moment of Disintegration is the criticality of the artistic method, which does not reach the point of complete detachment. In this sense, The Moment of Disintegration has an experimental character: Vladimir Potapov takes on the task of expressing the experience of a collective experience through an individual act of artistic expression.

Eva Vishnevskaya