To Those That Will, Ways Are Not Wanting
Paulien Oltheten gives the attentive viewer a new way of looking at familiar patterns, routines and details, making the ‘general’ very personal. In Russia and Iran, she filmed how people deal with obstacles they encounter during their daily walk. Iranians try to manoeuvre their bicycles and carts through a too-narrow passage between two poles, while Russian hovercraft passengers try to step down a wobbly staircase in their big snowshoes.
These parallel worlds mirror each other. In two adjacent images, we see the river that crosses both cities. The waterways have been turned into a new public space. The frozen Volga is temporarily walkable, as is the dry Zayandeh Rud. A man heads to the riverbed to make a quiet phone call while an ice fisherman calmly awaits his catch. The differences are as significant as the similarities.
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire.