decorated with colored houses in the middle of the snow
TITLE : THE POTEMKIN VILLAGE
PHOTOBOOK
AUTHOR : GREGOR SAILER

 

According to legend, the phrase »Potemkin village« can be traced back to the Russian field marshal Prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin.

In 1787, the minion of Catherine the Great purportedly had entire villages erected as painted façades along the paths of her travels to the recently conquered Crimean territory in an effort to veil the true, run-down face of the region.
Following Closed Cities (Kehrer 2012), Gregor Sailer’s new project once again presents actual architectural manifestations driven by political, military, and economic motives: combat training centers in the USA and Europe, faithful replicas of European cities in China, and vehicle test cities in Sweden.

And finally, a classical Potemkin village in Russia, where, on the occasion of a visit by Vladimir Putin to Suzdal on the Golden Ring and a triple summit in the city of Ufa, whole streets were masked with adhesive foil, wallpaper, and tarpaulins in an effort to provide the abandoned buildings with a feigned sense of activity.

Sailer’s pictures give the viewer access to the world of fakes, copies, and stage sets and call these at times absurd aberrations of our contemporary society into question.

 

Currently you can visit Gregor Sailer solo show “The Polar Silk Road” at the Natural History Museum in London.

You can buy the photobook The Potemkin Village HERE

reproduction of church with a very tall bell tower in china

Thames Town, Songjiang, China, 2016

reproduction of european style plaza in china

Thames Town, Songjiang, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer (b. 1980 in Schwaz, Tirol) works as a free photographer and designer. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. Collections: Fotomuseum Winterthur, Albertina, Sammlung Republik Österreich, Ferdinandeum, Sammlung Land Tirol, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Belvedere Museum Vienna, Museum der Moderne Salzburg.

Gregor Sailer links :

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