Recording a time document.

Cassette tape, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005

Keys that jingle

I would like to film him actually, maybe just for the sound. But the mpvement of his hips are important too.

sleutels die rinkelen, note, The Netherlands, 2006
Sporen trekken, note, Birma, 2006
Loopsporen, photo, Birma, 2015
Hakken aan een geknakte tak, photo, China, 2005
klemmen , action, China, 2006

This woman is reading from a book to the man laying behind her. Every once in a while he lift up his head, when he hasn't understood, to ask her to repeat it. Then he looks at her. For the rest he listenens and she reads. Nice form of communication, especially observed from a distance.

reading out aloud, note, China, 2006
muurtje stapel staan, photo, China, 2005
laughing about a letter, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005
sunbathing, photo, Ukraine, 2005
lightening couples, photo, Japan, 2008

The sun rays break through the holes in the clouds and light up little pieces of the world, as if to bring attention to the really important details.

zonnestralen, note, The Netherlands, 2005

Sharp corners = sharp photo

When I saw the paper corners hanging loosely like this I felt the need to fold them, make them sharp and clear.


onduidelijke hoeken, photo, India, 2006
tussenoplossing, photo, Russia, 2006

Rome, March 5th 2005

A bus with fogged up windows. All the people sitting by the window are looking out. To be able to see something they've rubbed away a moonshape with their hands. They can look out through the spot they have cleaned. By the form and place of the spot it'spossible to see what they are thinking about.

Condens op ramen, note, Italy, 2005

curved - upright - curved - curved

Bol en recht toonbank, note, Italy, 2006
Passage, photo, Iran, 2016
Destruction, photo, Iran, 2018
ruggen tegen elkaar, note, Paris, 2003

To shy to ask him directly, I made an animation afterwards of what I wanted him to re-enact in the bus.

man map bus, animation, Russia, 2010
witte handschoen, photo, Russia, 2006
11 fragments of japan / Jacket, movieclip, Japan, 2008

A series that i started but that I never finished.

tassen achter rug, photo, The Netherlands, 2005
fishing backwards, photo, Istanbul, 2006
vinger koffer, photo, Berlin, 2004
Sleeping on a Toyota, photo, Birma, 2015
hoofd tegen rug, photo, Russia, 2006
boom hangen, photo, Japan, 2009
stretching, photo, Mali, 2012
Jasjes over reling, photo, Japan, 2008
liggen in het park, photo, Bordeaux, 2003
seating objects, photo, Ukraine, 2005

These two pictures were next to each other on my desk coincidentally.

They seem like a combination of the past and the present. Photographed on the same spot, only forty years later.

vroeger en nu, note, China, 2005
against his back, photo, Japan, 2008

Maybe she should turn around while the man is writing down her address.

adres opschrijven, photo, Japan, 2008

I filmed a man who was simultaneously walking and reading.
This way I captured the world for him that was passing him by.


Walking and reading, note, Japan, 2008

I tried to ask him if he wanted to keep his paintbrush parallel to the pencil behind his ear. At first I wanted him to do this while painting, but it didn’t work. Then we tried it apart from the act. It’s a pity he’s laughing.

parallel pencil, photo, India, 2009

The loosely held pages tremble and move up and down. Through the motion of the subway but also through the natural trembling of the man’s hand and arm.

Show the resemblance between pages and thoughts: first film the loose pages and then move the camera up to his head. Then keep the camera still and focus on his forehead.

Loose pages, note, Japan, 2008

The real situation and the shadow of it.
Try out again to analyse the situation.


Schaduwlijnen, note, India, 2009

Man on a bench that's too high.
Dangling feet.
He also made a photo of me. I asked him to. Only he didn't get the point. My dangling legs have been cut off rigorously!

Dangling feet, action, India, 2009

This clip didn't end up in the work " To those that will, ways re not wanting". It stood out from the rest. A pity, because the man demonstrates the function of the passage in style.

Passage Isfahan, movieclip, Iran, 2018
draak aanraken, movieclip, China, 2006
line, movieclip, Japan, 2008
meebewegen, animation, New York, 2007
Rek oefening , movieclip, China, 2005
gymoefening , photo, Paris, 2003
hakschoenen, photo, Russia, 2006
Hakschoen, movieclip, The Netherlands, 2002
in elkaar overlopen, photo, Russia, 2006

You can see the approach in the shape of the fence (and by their knees).

hekgesprek, photo, New York, 2007
flying money, animation, Birma, 2012
social dance, movieclip, Japan, 2008
ruimte tussen benen, photo, Russia, 2006
Bellies, photo, Russia, 2011
Dansende vingers, movieclip, The Netherlands, 2003
dangling feet bench, movieclip, Japan, 2008

I thought the shape of the sofa matched the way he was sitting. And I like it that the wider a man mostly opens his legs (or how high his knees gets), how higher the pants crawl. 

trouserlegs, note, Stockholm, 2006

pressing     sticking     loose

hands holding things, note, Russia, 2006
wet dry, note, Barcelona, 2004

I love permanent seating arrangements in public spaces. People are forced to sit in a way that's already been thought up by somebody.

I also love improvised seating arrangements.

geïmproviseerde zitplaatsen, note, The Netherlands, 2005

The people look at something in the distance. Beautiful, the high wall.

mensen en muur, note, The Netherlands, 2003

Speaking with elbows

These men have their elbows at a set point, their arms lead the conversation.

Talking with elbows, note, The Netherlands, 2004

School in Barcelona

Boys and girls come walking up with rollingcarts. At the gate they fold up the cart and make it into a bookbag. Then they put the bookbag on and they go into the school.
The area around the gate becomes the bordes between rolling carts and bookbags. Some of the children aren't so good at it yet, they just carry the bag in.

This is a good action to use in some sort of way. Maybe for making imaginary borders visible.

Schoolbags, note, Barcelona, 2004
walking stick, photo, Barcelona, 2004

I met a man and a woman who were resting on a bench. The woman had short feet. 
They told me they always took the stone along in their car whenever they went on a outing. That way she could always sit with her feet on the stone on the ground

steen voeten grond, photo, The Netherlands, 2004
hangen als en handdoek, photo, Bordeaux, 2003
visser , photo, Ukraine, 2005
doorschijnend, photo, India, 2007
kratje vol spanning, photo, Italy, 2005
trek jas, photo, Russia, 2006
vormstudie kraag, photo, India, 2007
plaats innemen, action, India, 2007
kniespanning, action, The Netherlands, 2007
Drie jongens tussen twee schaduwlijnen, photo, Ukraine, 2005
heads and hair, photo, Japan, 2008
klak hak, animation, The Netherlands, 2002
Fitness in Kiev, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005

Same wrinkels under his feet
Same wrinkels on the bottle

Shadow line ends exactly at his feet > see elbow in sun

rimpels voeten fles, note, India, 2007

Hij stond op het punt zijn fiets om te draaien.
Schaduw lijnen worden energielijnen.

Lines , photo, China, 2005

When I saw this, I thought this could be a start of a new series. Jackets who perfectly matching the distance between the head of man and pavement. The following weeks I saw many men with jackets sitting on the pavement, but never saw it back again in this state of perfection.

jacket , photo, Iran, 2018
houtstapel, photo, China, 2005
couple high low, photo, China, 2005
scheve foto, photo, Russia, 2006
Bal, photo, The Netherlands, 2005
bold heads, photo, Italy, 2005
woman and bikes, photo, Barcelona, 2004
schuin staan, photo, USA, 2013
schuin op schip, photo, Japan, 2008
testing measuring distance, action, The Netherlands, 2005
strings, action, Japan, 2008
Blote stukken, note, China, 2005
papierstrookjes, note, New York, 2007
schuin vlak, action, Japan, 2008
erop eraf, note, The Netherlands, 2005
Hond hond hond, note, Italy, 2006
Ritssluiting , photo, Stockholm, 2005
Opgerolde gedachte, photo, India, 2009
field routines, photo, Japan, 2009
dozen klemmen, action, The Netherlands, 2001
tas achter rug, note, Russia, 2006
hak opvullen, note, Stockholm, 2006
post office, action, India, 2007
binnenzak buitenzak parallel, note, The Netherlands, 2004
Schuine bank, photo, China, 2006
Hand behind her back, photo, New York, 2009
mensen die zitten, tassen die hangen, note, Ukraine, 2006
Standing in circles, photo, Japan, 2009
schuine bank, action, Russia, 2006
tas tussen benen bewaken, note, The Netherlands, 2006

Red lines in NYC.
The red lines around the head of the woman are the most personal.

Red lines in NYC, note, New York, 2005
Proxemics (ants), photo, USA, 2013
LIJNEN MAN, photo, China, 2005
Touw ertussen, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005
Ueno Park, movieclip, Japan, 2008
Sock, animation, China, 2005
Swinging umbrellas, movieclip, Japan, 2008
Birds, movieclip, China, 2005
Walking Trees, movieclip, China, 2005
smartphone , photo, Birma, 2015
Stone, photo, Japan, 2008
belonging to eachother, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005
Hand on railing, photo, Ukraine, 2005
Measuring the distance, action, The Netherlands, 2005
Keeping distance, photo, New York, 2013

The situation. Trying out, analyzing the situation

under wires, action, The Netherlands, 2005
Umbrella and praying, movieclip, France, 2020
Singing under Umbrella, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005
Selfies aan zee, movieclip, The Netherlands, 2014
Ballon, movieclip, The Netherlands, 2003

Burma, a country with a fast changing society. Here we see a bus control-ler who hangs with his arm out of the broken window of the bus. But this time he caresses the bus, as if it concerns a body - almost sensual. In the context of Burma it means much more. For example, I was not allowed to show this video in Burma in 2011. It was censured by the Burmese censor-ship committee because it symbolized captivity. ‘

Caress the bus, movieclip, Birma, 2011
whirlpool, movieclip, India, 2009
Railing, movieclip, Ukraine, 2005
Stick, movieclip, China, 2005
Hangend meisje, movieclip, The Netherlands, 2002

Push umbrella against wall, like this the umbrella stays. Hands free for other things.

paraplu, note, The Netherlands, 2005
Alighned in Isfahan, movieclip, Iran, 2016
schoolklassen en tassen, photo, Japan, 2015
pole, note, The Netherlands, 2005
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© Paulien Oltheten, 2021