“Nothing except the world remains.”

Lori Nix’s childhood in Kansas was marked by storm events, which from then on exert a life-long fascination on her.

Together with Kathleen Gerber, the US artist duo NIX/GERBER has been creating complex miniature worlds by hand since the 1990s, in which traces of such post-apocalyptic scenes can be found.

In the photographs of these microcosms, which have already been abandoned by humans and are sometimes destroyed, the power of nature takes over the environment.

Right from the start of her training as a photographer, Lori Nix was rather interested in the construction of the image than in the search for a motif. Therefore in her work today, after thorough research, sketches and finally dioramas, which are meticulously handcrafted over months, become the subject of the picture.

Lori Nix devotes particular attention to the conception, determines colors and lighting and builds models out of polystyrene foam, glue and paint, while Kathleen, who is trained as a glass artist, takes care of the surfaces.

After the models have been photographed with a large format camera, they are destroyed again. What remains are the photographic still lifes and their extensive narrative.

“Once people find out they're models, they think, 'Oh, these are just pretend.' That creates a safe space where they can ponder the message.”

In spite of the captivating aesthetics, the photographic works evoke interpretations inspired by fascination and shudder. Questions about the future of mankind may arise as well as questions of self-reflection. Environmental disasters such as floods and forest fires as a result of human-induced climate change or nuclear wars are possible prehistories of the supposed dystopia depicted.

NIX/GERBER aim for a visualization of a possible future that will occur when people continue their usual lives – regardless of climatic crises and their responsibility towards nature.

It may seem dystopian how nature reclaims the deserted earth in NIX/GERBER’s photographic worlds. At the same time, however, the interpretative complexity of the photographs gives expression to a great joy in story telling.

“And the road to the future is usually paved with disasters of all sorts”

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