Paulien Oltheten
Sifting and Sorting / Centrifugal Thoughts



1 October 15


Paulien Oltheten, Bellies, St. Petersburg, 2011, Courtesy Paulien Oltheten
Paulien Oltheten, Bellies, St. Petersburg, 2011, Courtesy Paulien Oltheten


In her series Sifting and Sorting / Centrifugal Thoughts, Paulien Oltheten engages with the way she orders, classifies and assigns meaning to her photographs, texts, and videos. By narrating her view on specific visual and behavioral patterns in public space, she aims to implicate the viewer in a contagious sense of curisity.

The work of Paulien Oltheten (born 1982) is an examination of human relations and behaviours in public space. In photography, video, text and drawings she picks out particular postures, patterns and habits. With a keen eye for detail she directs our focus to the seemingly quotidian, which suddenly becomes remarkable, serendipitous or touching through her gaze. By alternating the documentation of spontaneous moments with acts of intervention or alteration, Oltheten balances on a tightrope between the real and the staged.

Paulien Oltheten studied at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and in 2013 she was a resident artist at ISCP, New York. In 2012 she was awarded the Dutch Doc Award. Exhibitions include: Paulien Oltheten & Anouk Kruithof, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2014), Off Walking, MoCP Chicago (2013), 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).

Performances include: NCCA Moscow (2015), Helmhaus Zurich (2015), IDFA Documentary film festival Amsterdam (2014), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2014),Vera List Centre New York (2013); De Brakkegrond Amsterdam (2011), SMBA Amsterdam (2007).