Sweeping, 2016,
video, 8min40s, Greece

A Greek woman is sweeping the pavement. She complains to a neighbor about the mess. She underlines this with obsessive sweeping, grumbling and by highlighting the dangers that lack of hygiene may have. She confronts passing refugees, which have totally nothing to do with it. According to the anthropologist Mary Douglas there is also a symbolic side to cleaning by what it calls “Matter out of space.” It is, except a practical-also a ritual act, removing unintended items from its own territory.

This video has been presented together with the c-print Broomstick, 165 x 110 cm, Greece, 2016 ( see exhibition view below)

At Ellen de Bruijne Gallery 2017. Photo: Gert Jan de Rooij

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© Paulien Oltheten, 2021