Potemkin


The photo series of yesterday on the little town in ruins for seventy-five years in Eastern Germany seems to have stirred our readers. They asked for Google coordinates, sent links to small towns really in ruins for seventy-five years, wondered how the car was in such a good condition as if the wall collapsed on it only yesterday, and commented on the professionalism of the scene. I tried to look up when and for which film the town was built, but I could not find any trace. It probably happened not so long, as on the Russian net even the readers knowing Mosfilm have welcomed it as something new. And it was probably created for a big-budget TV series, just like the only similar settlement known to us: a 18th-century small town some fifty kilometers to the northwest of Moscow, next to the village of Serednikovo.


The baroque town was built in last summer for the eight-part TV series Записки экспедитора тайной канцелярии (Records of the head of the secret chancery) whose plot takes part after the death of Peter the Great. After the end of the three months long shooting it stood for a while on the field around Moscow, and it was open to visitors for an entrance fee. Many photographers traveled there from Moscow to capture it, and it was even used as the background of wedding portfolios. I don’t know whether it is still standing; on the Google map where the Panoramio photo of last winter indicates its location, now you cannot see anything. Its details can be seen in the film, either online, or downloaded. And of course on the photo series over the Russian web. The following three ones – by saoirse, zizis and misha-grizli – illustrate well the diversity of possible approaches, from mysticizing through the objective presentation of details to backstage revelations.