La Défense, the Venturing Gaze (video installation), 2018
A photo video essay, 2 screens in loop, 42min34s / vitrine with objects

In this live photo video essay on human behavior Paulien Oltheten discusses the findings she made in the Parisian business district La Défense. An anonymous place of transit where she weaves personal relationships with some of the passersby she chooses and follows. She manages to create unimaginable encounters between a science book and a roll of paper or a family album and a former schoolteacher's suitcase.

"Oltheten proposes a different and renewed approach to street photography, with a new form of narrative. Thanks to the combination of two screens, she shows and at the same time comments on, with humor and poetry, her own images. It is a kind of abyme between the street, the artist’s studio and the exhibition space. With this play between street-studio-exhibition, she manages to transform “La Defense”, this cold and inhuman territory, into an endearing and multicultural district where one crosses simple and ordinary people but whose trajectories are just incredible." [ Jury Nouveau Prix Decouverte, Rencontres d’ Arles 2018]

"Without literally labelling major problems, this project touches on contemporary themes such as inequality, individualism, capitalism and religion. It is Street Photography 2.0" [Zilveren camera prijs voor storytelling 2018]

Shown at o.a Rencontres Photography d’ Arles (FR) 2018; Museum Hilversum (NL), 2019; Nieuw Dakota (NL) 2019, RAUMA Art Museum (FI), 2019; Frac Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, Marseille (FR); Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire 2020 (FR)

It originally had the form of a live performance > here

Performance, still, 2018

Installation overview, Galerie les Filles du Calvaire, 2020

Visitors at Galerie les Filles du Calvaire

Excerpt of La Défense, The Venturing Gaze

Detail vitrine: Objects used in the performance

Detail vitrine: Books used in the performance 

poignée (videostill)

Detail of exposition 'Nouveau Prix Découverte' at Rencontres d'Arles 2018

big crisis (videostill)

VISUAL THOUGHT, c-print, La Défense, 2017

shadow (videostill)

liberté (videostill)

liberte 2 (videostill)

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© Paulien Oltheten, 2021