Growing up in tornado-prone western Kansas, Lori Nix witnessed her fair share of natural disasters. Add to that her childhood interest in disaster movies and we have a women who says she may be “a little obsessed” with the apocalypse. In her latest series, “The City,” the photojournalist-turned-artist imagines a post-apocalyptic urban environment that is emptied of human inhabitants. Eschewing digital manipulation in favor of a more hands-on approach, Nix builds tiny, painstakingly detailed dioramas using cardboard, foam, glue and paint, then photographs the scenes with an 8 x 10” camera.
“The City” [imagines] a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it’s human inhabitants. Art museums, Broadway theaters, laundromats and bars no longer function. The walls are deteriorating, the ceilings are falling in, the structures barely stand, yet Mother Nature is slowly taking them over. These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man’s encroachment. I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but at the same time I am fascinated by what a changing world can bring.
Often taking up to seven months to complete, Nix’s large scale photographs of everyday places — a laundromat, bar, library, aquarium — fall victim to decay, a reference to the effects of man. Using humor to anchor the works, Nix challenges our perceptions of reality, as she reminds us of our responsibilities.