The morbid fascination with “ruin porn”—the decrepit or devastated remains of human existence—is hardly a niche interest at this point. People are drawn to the aftermath of destruction or the ravages of time because catastrophe and/or decay is mesmerizing, but many argue that ruin porn is voyeuristic and ghoulish. Well, that’s why we have art, folks—so we can gawk without guilt!
For her series, “The City,” photographer Lori Nix hand-builds tiny, exquisitely detailed diorama models of human spaces in a post-apocalyptic world. Nix grew up in disaster-prone Kansas, and a childhood of flooding, tornadoes, and blizzards shaped her catastrophic visions as much as sensationalist cinema. From her site:
I am fascinated, maybe even a little obsessed, with the idea of the apocalypse. In addition to my childhood experiences with natural disasters, I also grew up watching 1970s films known as “disaster flicks.” I remember watching Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Planet of the Apes and sitting in awe in the dark. Here was the same type of dangers I had experienced day to day being magnified and played out on the big screen in a typical Hollywood way.
The mysterious disaster that’s left Nix’s civilization to fallow is never explained, and no human survivors are ever present. The viewer is simply given permission to stare at what’s left.
Chinese Take-Out, 2013
Beauty Shop, 2010
Circulation Desk, 2012
Great Hall, 2006
Laundromat at Night, 2008