Wex Photo Video presents The City and Other Stories by Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber

  • Detailed reproductions of landscapes and scenes after natural disasters, inspired by photographer’s childhood experiences
  • New collection of work depicts a mysterious future devoid of mankind
  • 20 photographs to be exhibited for the first time at the Wex Photo Video Gallery in Whitechapel, London from 2 to 31 March 2020
Wex Photo Video presents The City and Other Stories by Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber
Wex Photo Video presents The City and Other Stories by Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber

Wex Photo Video will present The City and Other Stories, a brand new exhibition by US artists Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber, at its London Gallery from 2 to 31 March 2020 – the first time the work has been exhibited publicly in the UK.

Working collaboratively at their studios in Brooklyn and Cincinnati, Lori and Kathleen have been constructing and photographing meticulously detailed model environments for 19 years. Inspired by their urban surroundings and childhood experiences of natural disasters such as floods and tornados, within this unusual body of work, they represent a bleak and haunting picture of a future world without mankind. Each diorama takes anywhere between one and 15 months to construct. The work featured in the exhibition was created and captured between 2005 and 2017.

Lori Nix commented, “For the last eight years my photographs have highlighted a fictional urban landscape ‘after’. An aquarium after a flood, a church after a fire, a beauty parlour after… who knows what. Mankind is gone and what remains are vacant fragments of buildings, a few slowly being reclaimed by nature. These photos began their lives as complex dioramas sculpted out of foam board, paint, plaster and wood. Built in great detail from scratch, the scenarios reflect their previous inhabitants’ daily lives.”

A self-taught photographer, Lori grew up in the 1970s in rural western Kansas where every new season brought a new disaster or weather phenomenon. She experienced tornados, floods, blizzards and drought, and found inspiration in these events. As a six year old child, she was mesmerised by dystopian movies such as Planet of the Apes, Towering Inferno and Earthquake, which she believes ultimately impacted the art she creates today. “My work to date can be described as disaster mixed with subtle humour,” explains Nix.

Kathleen adds, “We do not strictly define what has taken place in the photographs. Clearly, we have a general theme – something catastrophic has happened, mankind is gone, all that is left are empty buildings and abandoned landscapes – but the details as to what actually occurred are purposely left fuzzy. That allows the viewer to bring in their own ideas (or fears) as to what happened. The fact that it is an image of a model and not a real place, can make it easier for viewers to place themselves into the scene and imagine what may have led up to this point.”

Tiffany Tangen, events manager at Wex Photo Video, said, “It’s exciting to have Lori and Kathleen exhibiting their incredible architectural photography for the first time in the UK. We are pleased to be able to present this fascinating work to a new audience through the London Wex Gallery, and we’re sure it will be a great attraction.”

Fictional Urban Landscapes: An afternoon with Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber
Thursday 5 March, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Lori and Kathleen will hold a talk on Thursday 5 March from 2.00 to 4.00pm at Wex Photo Video. Sharing their appreciation for great architecture, they will discuss the process behind the images from the exhibition and the equipment used to produce these delicate and dystopian environments. Having exhibited work at more than 80 exhibitions around the globe, Kathleen and Lori will be available to answer any questions on their incredible success story. Places can be booked online here.

Lori Nix mainly uses a large format camera with 8×10 film, although some imagery is captured digitally using a Canon EOS 5DS. Lori and Kathleen’s studio is equipped with Alien Bees strobes.

Exhibition venue:
Wex Photo Video Gallery
37-39 Commercial Road, London E1 1LF
Tel: 020 7380 1144
Nearest tube: Aldgate East
Opening hours can be found here. Entry is free of charge.

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