I combine elements that were not originally situated in the same place or at the same time [Taatske Pieterson]

Art sets me free. It offers me scope to be consciously present, to discover things, to become part of the world around me. My way of working is largely characterized by the fact that I merge elements that were not originally situated in the same place, or at the same time. On the other hand, I try to let things occur naturally wherever possible, and to rely on what’s already there. I use this approach in an attempt to gain insight into the way we relate both to one another and to our surroundings.

I often make use of photography, film and a computer as technical resources which enable me to create and manipulate a representation of my world. I use these digital reflections to create an image of an event that never actually occurred as such. I nevertheless hope that people viewing my work find something in it which is recognizable or familiar to them personally.

I endeavour not to view my art and my life separately, but as a whole.

Video interview
Taatske Pieterson about her research project 'Untitled'

Untitled

During the space of a year, I took around 3000 photos from exactly the same spot, though from different angles and at different times of day. I photographed both my surroundings and the people I encountered there. People on their way to school or to work; people on their way home, or to visit friends or relatives. But also the odd person who had become lost, or was just strolling. I took everyone’s picture at the precise moment that they looked towards the camera − either coincidentally or prompted by me. Then, on the computer, I combined a selection of all these individual photos to produce one very large picture.

To me, this project was a study into my own existence. My personal physical presence at a particular spot − I moved especially for the project to the place where I took the photos; a block of flats in Amsterdam-Zuidoost.

However, it is also a study of my presence as a director, combined with the presence of the camera. How does people’s behaviour change in relation to a camera and the person operating it?

While I was doing the photography, I greatly appreciated the support of the people I took pictures of. Their reactions were almost invariably positive, while they also helped me stay dedicated to my project. If I hadn’t taken pictures for some time, for instance, then there would always be someone who asked me if the project was complete, or why I was no longer there regularly.

[Photo print: 3.2 by 12 metres]


Assistant Regina stops the sunlight. The white cloth on the ground is there to simulate snow, later during postproduction.

Taatske Pieterson, the director, shows someone where the camera is.

Taatske with one of the ‘characters’ in her photo.

A woman buries her hands in her pockets to pretend it’s cold.

One of the characters (Iwan) walks past the camera and looks up when Taatske, the director, calls his name.

Screen shot to determine where to position the characters.

Test print of a part of the panorama.

One of the first sketches.

A man is sitting on a box while a passerby helps holding up the reflection shield.

Screen shot of the combination of sun and snow.