Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber’s urban scenes represent spaces that celebrate modern culture, knowledge, and innovation: the mall, the museum, the library, and even the vacuum showroom. But the natural world has taken them over in an ironic realization of a paradise lost, leaving the monuments of civilization and material culture abandoned. Evidence of human presence may still be visible, but the cause for their absence is left unclear; the narrative remains open-ended.
As self-described “non-traditional” photographers, Nix and Gerber meticulously construct their subject matter by hand, and capture it entirely in-camera, refraining from the use of digital manipulation. They build painstakingly detailed three-dimensional dioramas, which often measure no more than 20 inches high and can take up to 15 months to complete. Nix uses a large-format film camera to render these miniature scenes larger than life, infusing layers of irony and whimsy into the seemingly grandiose scale of her and Gerber’s urban tableaux.