Artist Lori Nix has created these stunning dioramas of incredible detail showcasing scenes of abandoned parts of a city. Permission to use the above image, titled Control Room, was kindly granted by Lori, who also provided the following description of her project:
I consider myself a faux landscape photographer. I build meticulously detailed model environments, and then photograph the results. Through the photographic process the fictional scene is transformed into a surreal space, where scale, perspective, and the document of the photograph create a tension between the material reality of the scene and the impossibility of the depicted narrative. In this space, between evidence and plot, the imagination of the viewer is unlocked, engaged, and provoked. I want for my scenes to convey rich, complex, detailed, and, ultimately, open-ended narratives.
Several common themes prevail throughout my work: the constructed photograph, the landscape in turmoil, and danger married to humor. I present these elements as the raw materials of stories with messages, but without conclusions.
The photographs I create do not reflect the tradition of the grand idyllic landscape. Rather than showing the beautiful or heroic vista, I look to the darker corners of life. I am interested in the forces of entropy, in the ruins left in the wake of human portence of grandeur. My scenes are devoid of people and this emptiness becomes an important element. In this way, the impact of civilization is shown by what remains in the absence of humans. Evidence of humans may still be visible, but the cause for their absence is left unclear, allowing the viewer to complete the narrative.
In my current series The City, I focus on the ruins of urban landscapes. I have chosen the spaces that celebrate modern culture, knowledge, and innovation: the theater, the museum, the library and the vacuum cleaner showroom. Here the monuments of civilization and material culture are abandoned, in a state of decay and ruin, with natural elements such as plants, insects, and animals beginning to re-populate the spaces. This idea of paradise lost, or the natural world reclaiming itself, becomes more forceful as we face greater environmental challenges in the world around us.
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