" Paulien, you are an Artist, Kino or Theatre?"

I analyze human behaviour in public space, often in direct contact with passers-by. With an eager sense of curiosity I seek out situations that allow me to highlight poetic or rhythmic details:people manoeuvring awkward luggage, remarkable postures, playful ritual gestures, or repetitive routines that leave visual marks on their surroundings. Like a contemporary urban anthropologist I document such acts and patterns, often subtly connected to a specifically chosen location or context. I then structure and annotate my research materials to craft a narrative in the form of photography and video, notes, publications, lectures and performances.

I studied at the Academy of Arts and Design in ’s-Hertogenbosch (2000-2004) and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (2005-2006). Past residencies include ISCP New York (2013) and Cité internationale des arts in Paris (2017).

Awards: Nouveau Prix Découverte des Rencontres d’Arles (2018); Dutch Doc Award (2012); Lecturis Art Award (2010); Sybren Hellinga Prijs (2004); st-Lucas Essay Prijs (2004)


Paulien Oltheten
Email: paulienoltheten@protonmail.com
Tel: +31 (0)6 125 39 786


Gallery Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris)
Tel. : +33 (0)1 42 74 47 05
Charlotte Boudon:
email: c.boudon@fillesducalvaire.com


SoAP / Space oriented Artistic Practice (NL)


Performances include: De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (2021); Les Filles du Calvaire , Paris(2021); PAC Milan (2018); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2017); De Buren, Brussels (2016); Fondatione Ratti, Como (2015); KW, Berlin (2015); NCCA Moscow (2015); Helmhaus Zurich (2015); IDFA Documentary film festival Amsterdam (2014); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2014); Vera List Centre New York (2013); SMBA Amsterdam (2007)


Exhibitions include: Suitcase routines and scenes of the improbable, Gallery Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris (2020); Marches, Démarches, Frac Paca, Marseille(2020); Stay Healthy, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2020); To those that will, Ways are not wanting, AG gallery, Tehran (2019); Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles (2018), Where do we go from here, Annet Gelink/Ellen de Bruijne gallery, Amsterdam (2017); Paulien Oltheten & Anouk Kruithof, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2014); Off Walking, MoCP Chicago (2013); Desire Lines, ACCA Melbourne (2013); Kitbag questions, Dvir Gallery Tel Aviv (2011); de Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam (2010); Portscapes, Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam (2010); One moment, it's really beautiful!, Gallery Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2007)

Download C.V. (pdf)

> Download filmography (pdf)

work partners

Advise: Anneke Tonen, Peter Delpeut, Semâ Bekirovic
Text editing / Translation: Elegant English/ Jane Bemont
Digital printing: Taylor Made
Analogue prints: AAP-lab
Framing: Profilex, Mertens Frames
Audio mix: Sergio Gonzàlez Cuervo, Jesse Koolhaas
Colorgrading: Laurent Fluttert
Publishers: NAi/010, Lecturis, Roma Publications
Collaborations with: Lotte van de Berg, Tijs Goldschmidt, TAAKplatform SoAP

Webdesign: Meeus Ontwerpt
Webbuilding: Jeroen Vader

Regularly supported by Mondriaan Fund and ocassionally by AFK and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds for which I'm very grateful.

" You don't have to film always extraordinary events, situations. A real challenge is to notice the very insignificant daily moments, the daily activities that nobody is paying attention to, but which are essential for humanity as it is now"

Excerpt of an Brooklyn Commons event at ISCP on April 16, 2013 with Jonas Mekas

Perfection is for outsiders.
Perfection is false pride.
Perfection is for the gods.

Hans Aarsman
(Theory of the Street, 2007)

2002, second year of art academy and a big fan of Erwin Wurm's one minute sculpture series. So I definitely wanted to see his outdoor exhibition in Antwerp. My sister took the picture. She had a hard time getting me out of the bin afterwards. With this action I convinced her that making art for me is a serious business (I think). She couldn't stop laughing the rest of the day.

St-Petersburg 2006 / Photo by Sema Bekirovic

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© Paulien Oltheten, 2024