Meticulously staged photographs portray eerie city scenes devoid of all humans.

Imagining a future in which New York City's inhabitants have mysteriously disappeared — abducted by extraterrestrials, fled in wake of a nuclear accident, perished in a second black plague, or any other sinister possibility — Lori Nix embarked on a staged photography project entitled The City.

That was in 2005. Nix has worked slowly on this project, crafting each image by hand out of cardboard, clay, and a variety of other materials. Each one takes about seven months to complete, with two to three weeks devoted to capturing the right shot. Nix credits a Kansas upbringing for her morbid fascination (possibly bordering on obsession, she writes on her website) with the apocalypse. Raised in a small, rural part of the state, she explains:

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