Vivarium is a series of constructed dioramas, called Episodes, by Dutch artist Dirk Hardy. With his socially engaged tableaux he studies the complexity and coherence of today’s pressing issues. In the creation of these worlds Hardy fuses his imagination, observations, personal memories and true events. Every Episode has its own topic, such as modern working conditions (Episode 9, Free Delivery), racial profiling (Episode 6, On Guard) and pre-defined gender identities (Episodes 4 and 5, Cinema Il Sogno).

Vivarium is an ongoing project, started in 2018. For each Episode, Hardy meticulously designs, crafts and photographs a new world in his studio. He creates meaningful narratives through the use of characters, objects and their composition. It takes 3 to 4 months to complete a tableau. By addressing a different topic in each Episode while applying a consistent working method, Vivarium is an expanding multiverse of portals where life takes place.

In addition, Vivarium Self-Portraits provide a glimpse into Hardy’s constructed worlds and working-method. They are rooted in his urge to understand and empathize with his characters. At Photoville — and for the first time in the U.S. — Hardy shows a selection of his Vivarium Episodes and Self-portraits on life-size Photocubes.

Artist Bios

  • Dirk Hardy

    As a child, Dirk Hardy (1989, Boxtel, The Netherlands) dreamed of becoming an architect — to design places and spaces for people to inhabit. He studied Architecture at the Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and in 2010 turned to Photography at the Willem de Kooning Academy (The Netherlands). In 2013 he interned in New York and afterwards returned for several short visits. It is clear that this city influenced his work, if only for the U.S. power sockets he once bought at Home Depot on 23rd street, which are now part of Vivarium, Episode 6, On Guard.

    Hardy creates meticulously constructed and socially engaged tableaux that shine light on human existence. He explores the complexity of life in an idiosyncratic and empathic way. Hardy: “Stories help us understand other perspectives. By welcoming the viewer to a multitude of worlds I aim to increase our ability to connect and coexist.”

    Hardy lives and works in The Hague (The Netherlands). His ongoing project Vivarium has been exhibited at various venues in Europe. Recent exhibitions include UNSEEN, Amsterdam (2023) and Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2022). Hardy’s work is part of various (private) collections, including the AkzoNobel Art Collection (The Netherlands).


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,


 coming soon

Featuring: Dirk Hardy

Curated by: Kim Nuijen

Presented by: Photoville, with support from Dutch Culture USA
  • Photoville

Supported by:

  • Dutch Culture USA


View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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