Tobias Nicolai

Viborg - a rising phoenix for Weekendavisen

For several hundred years the cathedral city of Viborg has lived with the belief that its history alone was enough. Arrogant, self-satisfied and closed around itself. Once an epicentre for both religion and power the city has gone from being a conservative city of kings to a modern city of culture. Like a rising phoenix the age-old city is now embracing a new identity. Viborg has just been crowned as this year’s UNESCO Creative City with The Animation Workshop as the primary factor behind the appointment. TAW is in the world’s top ten of animation schools and educates some of the best animators and comic illustrators.

Shot for Weekendavisen with the great Amalie Schroll Munk at the keyboard and photo editor Mie Brinkmann behind the scenes.

Read it online


Kh Marie for Weekendavisen

Marie Højlund is an uncompromising and creative tsunami. That was settled before the shoot with the deal that, “we don’t stop before it’s good”. You may know her from Tiger Tunes, Marybell Katastrophy or Nephew. She also has a ph.d.-degree in noise and is a lecturer at Aarhus University. But now you also have to get to know her as Kh Marie. The release of the solo album with a scented cover and the related sensory concerts were planned before covid-19 overshadowed everything in the society but the project speaks very well to the time:

“Our world has become more sterile, literally. Right now there is no room for the ugly and disgusting, that we do everything in our power to hide away. There’s no more cheese sandwiches on the train. And that’s a shame.”

The otherworldly light dress is designed by Christian Albrechtsen, Mathias Hersland og Ditte Johanne Krogh Bertelsen. 

Words: Asker Hedegaard Boye

Photo editor: Mie Brinkmann

https://www.weekendavisen.dk/2020-39/kultur/kh-marie


Malte Tellerup for Weekendavisen

In both his books, ‘Markløs’ and ‘Hedeselskabet’, Malte Tellerup writes about provincial life in the outskirts of Denmark. But after a few Horus together we had away from the provincial realisme that characterizes his authorship. Through Emperor Mings blue chambers, swinging over Hellegård stream on a ship rope to the turquoise backdrop that can be substituted for everything imaginable and further on to a deja-vu with cartwheels on a exact copy of the green Windows XP background hill. Its own little mythology.

Read online here

Text Jeppe Bentzen

Photo editor Mie Brinkmann

Art Direction Katinka Bukh

Layout Mai-Britt Bernt Jensen


Featured in Dansk Dokumentarisme podcast

Dansk Dokumentarisme is a quarterly newsletter about documentary photography in Denmark. Besides the newsletter the three people behind - Emil Ryge, Sigrid Nygaard & Anders Rye Skjoldjensen - also arrange talks and records podcast on various subjects related to documentary photography.

Their eighth installment is about ‘The Ritual’ and it can be heard (only in danish) in various podcast apps (Apple Podcasts, Google PodcastsSpotify) and online here


First prize in Danish Picture of the Year 2019

Friday the 6th of March ‘The Ritual’ was awarded gold in the open class category in Danish Picture of the Year 2019 at the award ceremony held at the Royal Danish Library.

“The winning series by Tobias Nicolai is technically well-executed, and the viewer is in the middle of the ‘war’. It is energetic and completely trashed, and the jury agrees that it fits especially well in the open class category, because it becomes grotesque when it is portrayed in a war aesthetic. There is something weirdly absurd about the situation, that the photographer completes in the style. The scenes play out in a closed off room out of time and place, which is a great strength that supports the visual language. The situation is not exposed. This is awesome, and we are not looking at it with critical eyes, but we have to ask the question: What kind of weird species are humans? So this rite of passage is in line with other extreme rituals around the world.”

The still division jury consisted of Mie Brinkmann, photo editor Weekendavisen; Christian Vium, anthropologist, photographer and filmmaker; Michael Koch, freelance photographer; Kristine Kiilerich, photographer and Mette Frandsen, photographer.

The winners, honourable mentions and runner-ups will be exhibited at the Royal Danish Library, and after that travel around to different venues in Denmark.



Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review 2020 attendee

The annual Chico Review is hosted by Charcoal Book Club in Pray, Montana in the beginning of april. 58 artists are invited to spend the week with the most respected and influential artists, bookmakers, gallerists, and curators in contemporary photography. Among the 58 selected, six applicants have received merit scholarships based on their submitted projects: Ana Hop, Jacqueline Leigh Silberbush, Madeline Cass, Morganna Magee, Pam Heemskerk and Tobias Nicolai.

Keynote speakers are Alessandra Sanguinetti, Jim Goldberg, Vanessa Winship, Todd Hido, Awoiska van der Molen, Raymond Meeks. The review team consists of a broad representation of the international photo industry; Stanley / Barker, Red Hook Editions, Trespasser Books, Light Work, Pier 24 Photography amongst others.


On assignment for Information

Not a place for a human to exist

“This is the story about a community of young people where everything went wrong and the sense of right and wrong slowly was replaced by indifference and misunderstood self-policing”

The horrible story about a young girl who was held captive, abused and raped for one and a half years evoke parallels to Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. But here the story takes place in single-family-houses in sleepy rural towns and illustrates what can happen when the surroundings does not see what happens right in front of them.

Cover story spanning six pages with words by Sally Frydenlund in Informations weekend supplement Moderne Tider.

Also published online


Interview in Danish trade magazine Journalisten

“Ive been running around in cinnamon dust clouds wearing white coveralls looking like a crime scene technician ”

The Ritual is featured in Danish trade magazine Journalisten. The interview done by Kerstin Bruun-Hansen focuses on process and working with the subject. ‘The Ritual’ is a documentary project about the peculiar Danish tradition of pouring cinnamon on unmarried young people turning 25.


The Ritual published in Information

First chapter of the book project ‘The Ritual’ Published over six pages and cover in Informations weekend supplement Moderne Tider.

‘The Ritual’ is a documentary project about the peculiar Danish tradition of pouring cinnamon on unmarried young people turning 25. Little is known about this unique and local cultural tradition of ‘kidnapping’ friends and pouring various amounts of cinnamon over them but it is a tradition that is upheld everyday in most of Jutland.

Also published online here


Nominated in Danish PoY 2019

The nominated photographers for Danish Picture of The Year has been announced

List of all nominees can be seen here.

Winners and honorable mentions will be revealed at the award show on the 6th of March 2020 in the Black Diamond at the Royal Library. 


Using Format