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The Düsseldorf Project

In order to investigate her performative role as a photographer, Orly Zailer has created 3 fictional characters, all connected to the photography world.

She set out on a mission to better understand how her playing different roles as different photographers affects her perspective and the nature of the images she produces. 


Andrea researches her great grandfather's dark past in the neighbourhood of Oberkassel through the history of a family that lived there before the war.

Ernst re-investigates the horrific crimes of the serial killer Peter Kürten after he had discovered as a teenager the terrible truth about his half sister.

Peter is trying to predict the human behaviour of the visitors of the museums on the CCTV monitors he observes in the control room.


Each one of them has a family tree, childhood memories, relatives with real faces, feelings, emotions and they all write about it in their blogs. 

Based on their developing characteristics their photography projects are constantly evolving.


This project started in January 2020 during the artist exchange residency of the Bronner Foundation, the NRW Kunststiftung and The Goethe Institut pre-Covid-19 era. It evolved in Düsseldorf and outside of it as a consequence of the pandemic and one of the protagonists even visited Israel during lockdown on a secret mission. 

Düsseldorf is yet another character - rather important and inseparable from the project’s existence.

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