It’s like the apocalypse, but smaller

Artists’ tiny models imagine what a city might look like after humans are long gone.

Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber spent seven months building this minute replica of a New York City subway car. Sprouting weeds and plastered with ironic posters, it sits in a desert. The city’s skyline is visible beyond.

The city is a ruin. Trains sit motionless on their tracks. Schools are silent. Libraries and laundromats languish in decay. Everyone has vanished.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, but Lori Nix feels fine. In fact, she and Kathleen Gerber, her partner in art and life, are the cheerful architects of this apocalypse. On a gray winter day in Brooklyn, the two women are working in their chockablock apartment cum studio, carefully building small-scale dioramas of disaster.

Their goal, says Nix, is to create and photograph “open-ended narratives—models of a post-human metropolis in the future, after an unknown catastrophe.” To “unlock, engage, and provoke” viewers’ imaginations, “we want [them] to contemplate the present. Do we still have a future? Will we be able to save ourselves?”

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