ВЕРСИЯ НА РУССКОМ ЯЗЫКЕ НИЖЕ
Artist Vladimir Potapov about the past and the future (for https://t.me/dengiviskusstvo/854
Today we are witnessing a global catastrophe, the signs of which have been scattered in previous decades. Not everyone saw it, and those who saw it were unambiguously labeled as alarmists. When everything happened, it was already too late. The modern Russian artist found himself in a difficult situation - how to react to what is happening in an artistic way and is it necessary? A dilemma that determines fate: if you react, you are a opportunist, if you don't react, you are an accomplice. And so, and so wrong. Is it even possible to react to a historical event directly from its duration while being in the state of an unfinished process, or do we have to wait for it to end in order to have a complete idea?
Artists answer these questions in different ways. The fact of the catastrophe is captured by the authors most often directly, but the works in which no changes have occurred are more eloquent, they hear and see silence about what cannot be spoken about - something that turns the work into a screen that hides the author's fear and the surrounding horror.
My task as an artist is to display the key events of my time, to find concentrated images that contain and describe its pain and essence. My material is the past and equally relevant processes "here and now", which together provide an effective opportunity to capture the historical moment. I turn to previous experience in order to see through it or "dig" tomorrow. It's a strange operation to look for the future in the past, but that's what I do. Over the past 10 years, I have had several series that comprehend possible prospects through an appeal to the past, these are the series "Inside", "Inside. Distortion", "Memory" and "Reality".
I started working with the theme of the past when the country turned around 180 degrees: according to one version, after the Munich speech, according to another, after the events of 2012. Even then, the mechanism of accumulating changes to its point of no return in 2014 started. Even then, I felt a certain comeback to the Soviet project for some specific signs. It must be said that at that time art, for example, of the Voina group, was a highly sensitive weather vane showing the direction of change, a harbinger bearing a terrible sign. But then no one believed them, accusing them of redundancy and thickening. Now these works sound prophetic.
In general, many works from other eras have acquired a new sound today. Most recently, I visited the Tretyakov Gallery and was surprised to find how such masterpieces as Surikov's Menshikov in Berezov, Yaroshenko's Life Everywhere and Repin's Refusal of Confession are perceived in a new way. All those who left at the moment acquired the features of Menshikov, the heroes of Yaroshenko's canvas turned into witnesses of a humanitarian catastrophe, and the prisoner of Repin became the prototype of those who disagree and are not afraid. It is amazing how these works radiate with modern meanings, they capture timeless images, doomed to be always relevant, they are like a broken clock that shows the time correctly twice a day. Because everything goes in a circle, you just need to wait and flared trousers will become fashionable again.
Today, the passage of time has slowed down: earlier the world was familiar and predictable, we lived automatically, by inertia, but now every day is a great drama and tragedy, when the state of uncertainty goes off scale and Nassim Taleb's Black Swan turns out to be not only an absolute bestseller, but also a symbol time. In the current processes, as in an instant lottery ticket, scratch a little and you will find events of not so distant history. Everywhere there is a connection, even nominally artistic, which in principle is enough for the artist to react. But you can do more - to see the future, and this is still a curse. Another option is not to understand and not see the future, but to be its antenna, broadcasting a signal that can be recognized years later.