Photos: Andreas Stuckenschneider


3rd February - 8th April 2017



DIRECT ART GALLERY opens its exhibition Nº 12 “Nicole Hollburg – Inszenierte Welten” in the context of “Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2017”, which features many of Dusseldorf’s art galleries, museums and other institutions. DIRECT ART GALLERY’s special profile as a non-profit gallery focusing on so-called Outsider Art is reflected in the “enacted worlds” created by artist Nicole Hollburg.


Nicole Hollburg’s photographs are the result of a long construction process in the course of which she conceptualises living environments and builds them in miniature. She then takes photographs of these models and destroys them afterwards. Unlike Thomas Demand’s work, the miniature worlds created by Hollburg are not deserted places that require the spectators to draw their own conclusions as to what happened or will happen there. On the contrary, the artist confronts us with a colourful, idyllic world divided into narrative scenes. The detailed sceneries’ connection to reality is intensified by the atmospheric lighting created by Hollburg. But instead of using naturalistic models of people in these realistic spaces, she chooses toy figures. In this way, an unsettling and disconcerting air is added to the seemingly pleasant world.


The scenes presented by Nicole Hollburg are taken from everyday life – a walk to the bakery or the butcher’s, dinner with the family, daily hygiene or workout. The persons are always displayed within their surroundings. They are social beings who interact with each other, argue and make up, who inhabit a world which seems quite similar to ours. The detailed environments are not those of a world of toys, they are our own reality on a smaller scale.


The social context of these figures is palpable and dynamic. The protagonists are brought to life in their surroundings. Transferring these scenes into the two dimensions of a photograph only helps to reinforce the visual momentum these persons develop in their respective contexts. Hollburg takes photographs of these miniature scenes as if they were realistic day-today scenes from her own life. Some of the photographs give the impression of a selfie taken by the person depicted, which once again illustrates how well these persons are brought to life. In many cases, the protagonists are shown from up close at an oddly short distance, which makes them seem strange owing to the artificiality of their appearance contrasting with their realistic surroundings.





DIRECT ART GALLERY is a non-profit gallery with the aim to support artists with a mental or psychological handicap. The gallery is run by the foundation ‘Aktion-Kunst-Stiftung’ and is located in the center of the well-known museums and galleries of Düsseldorf. In addition to the presentation of classical positions on Outsider Art, the gallery also focuses on young, upcoming contemporary artists.