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.

Image 30 of 67 1 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
© Gregor Sailer
Image 31 of 24 2.1 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
© Gregor Sailer
Image 32 of 21 2.2 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
© Gregor Sailer
Image 33 of 48 3 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Carson City / Vårgårda, Sweden, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 34 of 57 4 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Carson City / Vårgårda, Sweden, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 35 of 30 5.1 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Tiefort City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 36 of 26 5.2 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Junction City VII, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 37 of 54 6 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Tiefort City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 38 of 20 7.1 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Beauséjour, French Army, France, 2015 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 39 of 20 7.2 in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
Junction City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016 / © Gregor Sailer
Image 40 of 74 99 scaled in The Potemkin Village - Cosentino
© Gregor Sailer

Professionals form

Do you need information or samples of any of our materials? Would you like to explore a Cosentino partnership?