Once in New York, Nicole began to work in a more conceptual style. She started making sculptures and installations using objects from daily life, which she transformed into another configuration with an often surprising new meaning.
Nicole had a special interest in feminism and gender. She provoked the senses by using everyday materials from stereotypical female domains, such as the household.
“In my work I am researching the process of judging and prejudice. Understanding the distinction between the two I see as of crucial importance to all human interaction. My works are often constructed as conglomerates of objects. By using assorted familiar materials as well as found objects, I create an imaginary universe with the aim of upsetting habitual associations. I am challenging our premises about consistency, authority, bipolar opposition, the unified subject, fixed meaning and autonomy.”
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The work ‘Ins and Outs’ is made of worn black pantyhose placed around a barstool. This graphic image seems to invite some unknown gentleman’s company.
‘Contractant’ is a curtain of rubber gloves connected as though empty hands unite in harmonious agreement. The viewer is challenged to reflect upon anything from real harmony versus the emptiness of accord for the sake of evading discord to multiple sexual issues, including perhaps transmission of disease. One wonders what is behind the curtain. What does it conceal, or eventually reveal. It whispers when you walk past it.
‘Quatre Mains Bis’ (French for four hands twice) also relies on rubber gloves for its framework. But in this case the artist chooses to place varying colors of beige/tan/white in eight solid rows depicting “…the natural deviation range in this one-size-fits-all universe”.
‘Medusa’ hangs from the ceiling in the middle of the room, assembled from multiple pairs of used, grey pantyhose, wrapped around a faceless head with the long legs dangling to create a thick, rough mane of old grey hair. This intense piece is meant to stunt the viewer, evoking a range of associations from facelessness to obscured or confused identity to age and wisdom to beauty and ugliness.
In ‘Swimbladder’ she seems to take her probing queries to a higher level by confronting larger issues associated with pregnancy and children. The work resembles an inflatable children‘s swimming pool bordered by disposable plastic cups. At second glance, however, it may recall an unused condom, or a contraceptive diaphragm.
The installation ‘Circumflex’ is made exclusively out of rubber, thousands of rubber bands encircle a gallery space in one continuous line. Although the viewer might initially get an optical association with condoms, one is left with the growing impact of the material and the process, as an amorphous, cellular growth all around.
‘Vent-Re’ (ventre is French for stomach, vent is French for wind) is a piece depicting deflated tire inner tubing wrapped around blocks of foam core. By utilizing deflated tubing, the viewer confronts the emptiness of lost power and events that are in the past and overtaken in life.
Untitled (1990), Para Plui (1992) and Long Haul 1, 2, 3 (1994) Nicole considered teabags a super-commodity. She made these objects not only because she loved tea, but also because of personal memories provoked by them.
In the plane there are no earthly realities. It isn’t warm or cold; there is no wind or rain. The suspended yellow plastic rain capes that form the circular ‘Three Graces’ are hovering rather than floating.
Flying above, it is hard to look down without longing to be there (Nicole worked as a flight attendant). A possible landing place could be the light green field in ‘Spring is in the air’ (an upside-down plastic swimming pool). Glimmering intimately in the dark, but never to be approached without risk.