Dirk Hardy (b. 01989, Boxtel, The Netherlands) explores the complexity of life in an idiosyncratic and empathic way. In the creation of his constructed tableaux, he draws from a web of personal observations, memories and imagination, and responds to both large and small events in the world.
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.”
Vivarium is a metaphor for the window through which we view reality. By displaying humanity in confined spaces Hardy brings remarkable and pressing stories about the human condition to life.
Vivarium consists of several Episodes where each one is a world in itself that tells a story about a fictitious person. The ‘tableaux vivants’ show human existence in a combination of imagination and true events. Hardy calls this 'purposeful fiction’. Together, Vivarium’s Episodes explore the coherence and complexity of our Zeitgeist.
Hardy’s hyper-realistic and narrative working method creates a direct encounter between the viewer and the subject. For each Episode Hardy designs, builds and photographs another ‘world’ on a life-size scale in his studio and he shows his photomontages life-size - one-to-one - in a lightbox with a window frame. 
Since hyperrealism and imagination are fully interwoven, the viewer is witness to a series of contemporary, mesmerizing fairy tales that not only astonish but also give food for thought. Each meticulously constructed diorama takes 3 to 4 months to complete. Vivarium is an ongoing project Hardy started in 2018.