Edouard Manet first suggested the radical implication of a recognizable figure divorced from an understandable context in his image The Piper, and Alex Katz later translated that vacuum into his own cooler Pop sensibility which Julian Opie picked up on in turn.
By way of comparison, Dijkstra made her photographs of Olivier Silva over the course of thirty-six months, starting when the seventeen-year-old left his home to endure the brutal and isolating regimen of the French Foreign Legion.
Videos taken in the same clubs capture girls losing themselves to the music, transforming from nervously self-conscious to wildly unconstrained and confident.
They stand naked against stark white backdrops, holding their new babies tightly to their chests. We see him in a variety of guises, we see the evidence of the physical and mental stress he undergoes, time passes, he continually offers himself up without resistance to his inspectors, and yet Olivier remains forever beyond us, thoroughly exposed and permanently inaccessible.
Throughout the s and s, she became fascinated with with teenage girls who frequented The Buzz Club and The Krazyhouse, two nightclubs in Liverpool, England. Alexxa Gotthardt Essay on rineke dijkstra a Staff Writer at Artsy. Neither classically beautiful like a figure from a Botticelli nor acerbically overloaded like one from an Arbus, she floats, merely existent, suspended in that perfectable nether-region of photographic neutrality.
The time-lapse device she uses is a further assault on the hope we place in the comprehensive view: If Essay on rineke dijkstra then by their value as humanist documents, how else can we come to understand images that appear to be portraits, but that so consistently withhold any of the traditional inferences of the genre?
Her first and most famous images from the series focus on young women. His mother tongue is replaced by French and his personal belongings handed over in exchange for a uniform. Can you only just look? They never escape their specificity or their status as documents, as pictures of his relatives.
Two years later, the photographer tracked Almerisa down in a town on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The environments in the Bathers images are recognizable, but only generically. His personal history is confessed, then kept secret. The light is flat but perfectly descriptive; the background is identifiable but anecdotal and unknowable.
Dijkstra records the location and date of the photographic act, but not the name of the person who exists as its ostensible subject. These are arch-portraits in the most traditional sense. You can really see what you look like.
Can you navigate a territory that provides no fixed information about ourselves, that has no need for hope?
He makes the pictures at yearly gatherings of his educated and comfortable family, which is quite familiar by now not only with artistic endeavors but also their own historical place within this exercise.
Sounds simple enough, and it is, even devilishly so, because no critic or curator has yet written of them as only just that, as distillations of bald and almost stultifying flatness. Thus admitted, will you see past it?
Earlier displays of aloofness have been succeeded by the warmer patina we likewise expect of our most humane images. What makes all of this so frustrating is that it does nothing to explain how someone so seemingly mawkish is producing some of the sharpest and least sentimental portraits in the world right now.
Dijkstra refers to this series as a string of self-portraits, which revisit how she herself felt during the clumsy, confusing time between girlhood and womanhood.
She stands flatly frontal, arms hanging, face empty and waterlogged, seemingly exhausted and frail yet uncommented upon.
Dijkstra pursues both goals while openly acknowledging their impossibility, but never stoops to mourning that loss by rehashing portrait truisms. Remarkably though, the contraposition in those images of bright figures with dim environments pulls the subjects out of their everyday context. In the early bather images, Dijkstra accidentally overexposed her subjects due to what she has acknowledged was her inexperience with the flash lighting she was using, and as a result underexposed the backgrounds.
That has to be enough, because it is all that can ever be. The Bathers series was the first suite of photographs she made in an attempt to get beyond the trappings of her work as a commercial photographer.
She gives us more than we ask for to prove that all bets are off, and no desperate clinging to historical compass points will provide adequate orientation. The single image of her standing on a wet and empty pool deck is very much the originary point for her entire oeuvre.Photographs by Rineke Dijkstra.
Essay in German and English by Birgid Uccia. Includes a list of plates, a biography, exhibition history, bibliography and awards. Photographs by Rineke Dijkstra. Foreword by Thomas C. Heagy. Statement by James N. Wood.
Essays by Caroline Ehlers and James Rondeau. 72 pp. with 20 four-color plates, beautifully printed one plate per sheet, by Meridian Printing. Rineke Dijkstra inshe looks exhausted, apprehensive, proud, and deeply happy all at once.
This is Tecla, just one of the many female subjects the Dutch photographer has captured over the course of her career. Rineke Dijkstra: The Louisiana Book offers a retrospective survey of the life and work of the photographer.
Scholars introduce her complete oeuvre chronologically in easy-to-read essays, providing information about her working. Rineke Dijkstra: Seeing is Believing. January 23, By Conor Risch As Phillips notes in her essay for the catalogue that accompanies Dijkstra’s exhibition, the arts milieu in Holland and the new status photography had achieved in the art world—thanks in large part to the work of German photographers and teachers Bernd and Hilla.
In one of the most intriguing piece written about Rineke Dijkstra, titled Real People, the author brings out some of the basic elements of her works.Download