vrijdag 29 februari 2008

Hans Aarsman Theory of the street Paulien Oltheten Photography

The street is the workplace of the artist Paulien Oltheten (b. Nijmegen, 1982). Seemingly in passing, she seeks out precisely those moments when there is contact between people, things and the public space with her still and moving viewfinders. She also has a remarkable eye for the small and the subtle: her photos are often profoundly touching.

Street Theory brings together about a hundred photos, video stills and drawings by Oltheten, each of which testifies to how we use, move through, sit, lounge and behave in the public domain, and above all how we relate to other people and objects. Oltheten often annotates these striking images and intriguing situations with handwritten notes that become an integral part of the whole, adding a new, narrative layer of meaning.

Paulien Oltheten's observational acuity and her fascination with human behaviour and photography display a close affinity with the interests of the photographer Hans Aarsman and the behavioural biologist Tijs Goldschmidt, both of whom contribute to this book. In his introduction, Aarsman describes her exceptional way of working. In his essay, Tijs Goldschmidt explores the differences and similarities between his own work and that of Paulien Oltheten.

There are always intriguing things lying around and happening on the street, and there is not a single instant that is structured or preordained, but you have to actually notice it, and that is what Paulien Oltheten so uniquely succeeds in doing.

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