Gregor Sailer (1980, Schwaz, Tyrol, Austria) is the mind behind the concept of the “Potemkin Village”, inspired by Prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin, a Russian field marshal and the favorite of Empress Catherine the Great. The story says that Grigory was anxious to share with her the grim face of the recently annexed Crimea in 1787, so he allegedly ordered to create entire “villages” consisting of nothing more than gaily painted façades to be erected all along her route.
Gregor Sailer’s curious architectural images, are focused on political, military, and economic features: “field exercise centers in the USA and Europe, the allure of European city replicas in China, and urban vehicle testing tracks in Sweden. Not surprisingly, the country of the term’s origin, Russia, still fakes whole streets in disguise when high-ranking political celebrities are visiting from abroad. Sailer’s images provide access to the world of fakes, copies, and artificial fronts. By exposing them to the eye of the beholder, he puts the value of these often absurd aberrations of today’s society to an acid test.”
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