STAGED. FROM THE POTEMKIN SERIES
A magical enchantment influences us the abandoned places, those in which with the passage of time people are disappearing, those in which the vegetation is devouring entire constructions.
When we look at these solitary "non-places", photographed by Gregor Sailer, what we see is a certain disquiet about the subject he addresses, as he shows us sets that lead us to reflect on the real versus the unreal, especially in an era of fakes news and little rigour on the part of those who run our societies.
Examples such as China, which builds entire cities from scratch imitating western locations before anyone even expresses any desire to live there, only tells us of a paradoxical urbanization strategy.
Many of these Potemkin Villas are truly beautiful places but they are inert, however Sailer transmits us through his photography, that atmosphere that each building has, because his images do not judge or censor, his images investigate, probe and tell the fiction of these artificial spaces so that we are the ones who judge, the ones who feel that effect of "not reality" and this is where the strength of his images lies.
Staged is his new book that collects the series of images that Sailer named The Potemkin Village, where he shows his great interest in architecture, socio-political issues and artificial worlds, ranging from a car testing facility in Sweden, built in the image of Harlem in New York, faithful replicas of European cities in China and
villages that are military training camps in different cities in the United States and Europe.
“Empty spaces, sometimes unfathomable, sometimes mouldable, always open.
the empty spaces have no other homeland than the land of the artist who fills them,
they don't know, they don't know about sentries, prisons or borders.
the empty spaces are like clouds in which to vary ideas,
soluble layers in which to recreate anyone's utopias,
the ethereal vanities of solitude...”
Juan Antonio González
March 14 - June 13, 2020