Exactitudes and Thalys “United in Diversity – European Attitudes”

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Ellie Uyttenbroek and Ari Versluis are Exactitudes. They photograph ‘tribes’, people that with or without intention all dress the same. With the strong support of curator, Caroline Siobhan Ryan and Thalys Exactitudes have proposed one of the most positive and energetic collaborations expressing, as the title of their project explains, “United in Diversity – European Attitudes.” I’ve had the pleasure of watching this project grow from a grand idea to a sublime reality. The project started with a make-shift photo studio set up at the Rotterdam Central from July 13th to August 3rd then they moved their photo studio to Paris and the Gare du Nord from August 25th to September 15th. The artists are Ellie Uyttenbroek and Ari Versluis, Exactitudes and Olivier Boisson who was responsible for the scenography. The ‘dressed’ train will travel with Exactitudes up until the end of this year.

photo by David Dekker

The way Ari and Ellie work is they observe first and when they recognize a type, tribe if you will, that expresses one particular style of dressing they start to build their series. Through observations and street casting they invite the observed into their make-shift studio and document our times as defined by a particular style of dress. I don’t have all of the looks from this adventure but one that I particularly liked was the way the Dutch all dressed the same on the free travel day. It was mostly people over 60, the men all wore a vest with many pockets, there are so many fascinating ‘tribes’ that in order to enjoy them all you can visit www.exactitudes.com
, buy their book or jump on the Thalys that is circulating between Belgium, France, Germany and the Neatherlands from now up until December 31st.

When asked how their subjects reacted when they entered the studio and saw a wall of poloroids with people dressed exactly like them, Ellie and Ari said that they never seemed to mind and by seeing the images they understood immediately what the focus of their visit was.


photo of the train by David Dekker

October 13th marked the maiden voyage of the first Thalys dressed in Exactitudes . It is the first exhibition to travel at 300 km/hour.


If you would like to know more about Exactitudes and their work and their book, soon to be books, visit their site: www.exactitudes.com

Partners in this adventure are Rotterdam Central, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Institute of the Neatherlands, Maison Descartes. The curator is Caroline Slobhan Ryan and the sponsor is Thalys.


Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.