Empire by Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber: Landscapes are more than a visual record of an environment. They also capture the emotional, sometimes spiritual, essence of a place. Empire presents a world transformed by climate uncertainty and a shifting social order, as it stumbles towards a new kind of frontier. These places are eerily beautiful but also unsettling in their stillness and silence. Long ago man entered the landscape and forced nature to his will. Once grand, and emblematic of strength and prosperity, they now appear abused and in decay, and it is uncertain how they will continue to (de)evolve.
All images courtesy Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber, and Clamp Art Gallery, New York, NY.
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber have been making art collaboratively for over nineteen years. Based in Brooklyn and Cincinnati, they construct meticulously detailed model environments and photograph the results. For the last decade they have found inspiration in their urban surroundings, imagining a future mysteriously devoid of mankind. Their miniature fake landscapes and interiors reflect a love of science fiction and dystopian entertainment (think Blade Runner, Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run), an appreciation for great architecture, and an affinity with the Sublime painters of the Hudson River School. Because the work is of a model and not a real place, it creates a safe space to consider the larger ideas of disaster and our collective future. Devoid of people, these spaces become meditative, revealing not just mankind’s errors, but also our optimism, ambition and love of life.