Growing up in the Midwest, photographer Lori Nix was used to extreme weather – tornados, floods, blizzards, fire and drought. She experienced each of these natural disasters firsthand but was never scared or upset. On the contrary, she found these events exciting. As she says, “Whereas most adults viewed these seasonal disruptions with angst, for a child it was considered euphoric. Downed trees, mud, even grass fires brought excitement to daily, mundane life.”
As a product of the '70s, when disaster films were popular, she became fascinated by the idea of an apocalypse, a universal and widespread disaster that would eliminate life as we know it. These experiences shaped her vision as a photographer. She began to think about an environment without mankind. She asked herself questions like, “What would remain if Man left today? What would our our architecture, our museums, malls, laundromat and bars look like and how would nature reclaim its space?”
Rather than just ponder over these questions, Nix decided to create dioramas or three-dimensional miniature models that would take her anywhere from two months to fifteen months to construct. While still retaining her full-time job, on nights and on weekends, she brought on an assistant to help make these visions come alive in her Brooklyn living room. Called The City, the meticulously constructed scenes are unbelievably small. You wouldn't know this at first but they're between 50×60 centimeters and 182 centimeters in diameter. Also, Nix shot these with traditional 8×10 film and didn't use any Photoshop. Amazing!
The City is currently on display at ClampArt Gallery in New York City. It will be there until December 18. This work will then travel to Chicago for an exhibition at Catherine Edelman Gallery, January 7 – February 26, 2011. Make sure to check it out.
Thanks for the tip, Max!