The public domain and human behaviour is the starting point for the work of Paulien Oltheten (1982). Through photographs and video she presents an investigative approach: identifying idiosyncratic moments, gestures, and unintentional performances of people in public space. For the video ’11 fragments of Japan’ she really shows how she gets things done. She does this by asking people to re-enact the moment she has seen just before.
The seemingly simple request to repeat something proves to be an impossible task. Instead of seeing a more practised repetition of the same thing, the movements become increasingly artificial and are at the same time further removed from the natural behaviour that Oltheten originally captured on film. The result is a little bit absurdist and exceptionally amusing.
BIO: Paulien Oltheten studied at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and in 2013 she was a resident artist at ISCP, New York. Exhibitions include: Drawing Lines of Thought, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Off Walking, MoCP Chicago, Desire Lines, ACCA Melbourne (2013); It’s my imagination you know, gallery Fons Welters Amsterdam (2012); Walk on a line…, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2011); Kitbag questions, Dvir Gallery Tel Aviv (2011); de Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (2010); Portscapes, Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam (2010); Off the Record, Proposal for Municipal Art Acquisitions, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2009). In 2012 she was awarded the Dutch Doc Award 2012