“The City” after Mankind had Dissapeared

 

 

 

In her pictorial worlds Nix presents dystopia as the final stage of the neoliberal American Dream. The artist transforms every single work into a complex display of a world that is gone but deeply and unconsciously familiar, whose after-images she meticulously reconstructs. In their sculptural vividness and aggressively staged banality, Nix’s overcrowded tableaus become effective traps. First seen from a distance, almost everything shown appears familiar and rather unspectacular. Offices, libraries and laundromats seem to have just been vacated, for example during a short lunch break, after which the people who work there, read the books or do the laundry will return and everything will proceed as usual. Yet the longer you examine her imaginary shopping centers, gambling casinos, churches and aquariums, the closer you look at that miniature cup, blackboard or telephone, as if all these items were imbued with an inherent truth that would invest them with meaning even after the end of all mankind, the clearer it becomes that nothing more will come after these scenarios. In fact, it is precisely the tiny, seemingly random details that dash any hope of mankind’s return: the moldy-edged styrofoam ceiling panels coming loose at the Chinese Takeout, the grayish green mildew covering the originally pink chairs in the Beauty Shop, and the enormous banana tree standing in what was once a Mall and symbolizing serious climate change.