The Potemkin Village
Gregor Sailer
United States, Sweden and France
For two years Sailer photographed about twenty ‘Potemkin villages’ in countries like the United States, Sweden, or France, exploring the features that define these simulated towns that are only facades.

The work of the Austrian photographer and designer Gregor Sailer (Schwaz, 1980) has reflected an interest in architecture from the beginning of his career. Between 2015 and 2017 he completed ‘The Potemkin Village’ series, a research on this concept inspired in the Russian myth according to which marshal Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin built fake settlements to conceal the ruinous state of the newly annexed Crimea from the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. The result is a showcase of counterfeit architecture that includes vehicle test cities or combat training centers. 
The chromatic uniformity and the geometric balance of the photographs in ‘The Potemkin Village’ series together create an oneiric atmosphere that underscores the ambiguity between reality and appearance.

In his projects, the Austrian photographer Gregor Sailer documents unusual places like Tiefort City, where more than 500 buildings recreate an Iraqi city that US troops use as combat training ground.

The Potemkin Village  - 67 1 30
© Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 24 2.1 32
© Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 21 2.2 34
© Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 48 3 36
Carson City / Vårgårda, Sweden, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 57 4 38
Carson City / Vårgårda, Sweden, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 30 5.1 40
Tiefort City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 26 5.2 42
Junction City VII, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 54 6 44
Tiefort City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 20 7.1 46
Beauséjour, French Army, France, 2015 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 20 7.2 48
Junction City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
The Potemkin Village  - 74 99 50
© Gregor Sailer

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