Paulien Oltheten’s exhibition at the Spot Gallery

Spot Gallery and Office for Photography announce the opening of an exhibition In the meantime, I’m doing exercise by PaulienOltheten

The exhibition opening and the interview with the artist will be held on Monday, May 29th at 7 pm .





Paulien Oltheten, a young Dutch artist, is consistently engaged in exploring the seemingly usual and ephemeral phenomena of everyday life. Her extensive photographic archive was made during the last ten years or so, in various parts of the world, while these photographs, which the artist often exhibits alongside video works, drawings and texts, note the ways in which people use the public space and how they act in it, thereby subtly revealing the nature of interpersonal relationships. Her approach to photography is only seemingly documentary, but in actuality, it is deeply experimental. Successfully balancing on the verge between documentary and fiction, Oltheten creates a visual collection of her observations, transforming them into a study of everyday movements, gestures, practices and situations which, more often than not, go unnoticed. The starting point of the narrative in her works are the scenes captured by a photo or a film camera, which Oltheten subsequently transforms, through the repetition of the scenes and live performances and presentations, into an inexhaustible source of meaning and new conclusions. Her oeuvre exhibits diverse influences: from the so-called ‘street photography’, over intimate perspectives of the Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken, to the pioneer practices in conceptual art, notably, Yvonne Rainer’s oeuvre, who introduced random and everyday movements into the art of dance. Finally, the work of Paulien Oltheten presents at times a humorous and, at times, an absurd, but always a fresh and unexpected interpretation of everyday life. The exhibition at the Spot Gallery displays her new works, made in 2016, during the artist’s travels on the again current historical routes leading from Eastern and Central Europe to the West.


In this installation, built from photographs, video and sound I chose to accentuate small, poetic human gestures over the important ‘political’ events that are taking place in the background: refugee/migration flows and social unrest in southeast Europe. At times current events become clearly visible for a moment: a demonstration in Athens, or a father and son who go jogging outside the Idomeni refugee camp. This shifting of foreground and background results in a tension between hope and hopelessness. (Paulien Oltheten)


PaulienOltheten graduated from Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, while her works have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions. In 2013, she was an artist-in-residence in New York. She won several national awards, while her works have been included in the prestigious collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.


Duration until 23 June 2017.


As part of the exhibition, the artist (in collaboration with Maša Bajc) will held a one-day workshop intended for students of Zagreb’s Academy of Dramatic Art.



Opening hours of Spot Gallery


Mon – Fri / 4 – 8 pm

Or by appointment