Announcing: Stay Healthy

Stay Healthy


In the second half of March 2020, condemned to life indoors because of a worldwide pandemic, TAAK got into a conversation with artist Paulien Oltheten about the current COVID-19 crisis.


The world is in lockdown. We see impressive photos of empty streets and abandoned city architecture, but also optimism about cleaner air, and a renewed appreciation of silence. On social media, images are shared in which the camera traverses cities that appear barely inhabited.


At the invitation of TAAK, artist Paulien Oltheten looks for examples of human contact amidst the silence and sterility surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Compared to other countries, The Netherlands allows individuals to interpret measures relatively freely. In Stay Healthy, a series of short video portraits, Oltheten documents a range of interpretations and ways of relating to each other in Amsterdam and surroundings.

Paulien Oltheten


Paulien Oltheten is a visual artist who works with photos, performances, and videos to explore human behavior in public spaces. She studied at AKV|St.Joost and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and was a resident artist at ISCP, New York in 2013. In 2017 she worked at Cité des Arts in Paris. In 2012 she won the Dutch Doc Award and in 2018 she was awarded the Nouveau Prix Découverte at Rencontres d'Arles. She is represented by Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in Paris.

Paulien Oltheten gave performances in cultural institutions such as Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (2020); PAC Milan (2018); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2017); De Buren, Brussels (2016); Fondatione Ratti, Como (2015); KW, Berlin (2015); NCCA Moscow (2015); and Helmhaus Zurich (2015).

Recent exhibitions or screenings of her work include: IDFA, Amsterdam (2019); In Praise of Boredom, RAUMA Triennale (2019); Nouveau Prix Découverte, Les Rencontres de la Photography, Arles (2018); Where do we go from here, Annet Gelink/Ellen de Bruijne gallery, Amsterdam (2017); The measure of our travelling feet, Marres, Maastricht (2016); Paulien Oltheten & Anouk Kruithof, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2014); Off Walking, MoCP Chicago (2013); Desire Lines, ACCA Melbourne (2013); Walk on a line… Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2011); One moment, It's really beautiful, Gallery Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2009).

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Stay Healthy is made possible in part by AFK (Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst).