December 5, 2008

Potemkin Villages Were a New Mode of Special

Potemkin villages were a new mode of special effects as power, as the erasure of memory in the late eighteenth century. But the principle evolves beyond one’s wildest imagination. All movie sets are Potemkin villages before they are shot as film. And all wars since 1989 have become Potemkin villages when they appear on global media. And yet, Baroque special effects already pointed toward this problem by 1650, that Baroque illusion served uneasy alliances to cover up the decay and misery of the kingdom.

Norman M. Klein, in Scripted Spaces and the Illusion of Power, 1550-1780. From The Vatican to Vegas, 2004 p131