Indepth Arts News: |
"Rineke Dijkstra: Portraits"
2001-04-18 until 2001-07-01
Boston Institute of Contemporary Art
Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra has gained international acclaim for her penetrating photographic portraits of adolescents, teenagers, and young adults that combine formal classicism with brooding psychological intensity. Her BEACH series, begun in the Netherlands in 1992, captures the quiet vulnerability and youthful innocence of 18 adolescent boys and girls from Belgium, Croatia, England, the Netherlands, Poland, the Ukraine, and the United States.
In a grouping of four photos taken between 1994 and 2000, Dijkstra uses an unusual compositional format to photograph a young Bosnian girl as part of a project documenting the children of refugees. Taken at two-year intervals, the photographs of Almerisa are in distinct interior settings and chronicle Almerisa growing up as well as her assimilation from Eastern to Western Europe. Turning to adult subjects, Dijkstra documents young Danish women who have just given birth in a series of photographs taken during 1994.
The clear contrast between the simplicity of the composition and the penetrating intensity of the subjects gaze creates this series powerful immediacy.
Dijkstra has also used video to explore the phenomenon of adolescence. Buzzclub, Liverpool, UK/Mysteryworld, Zaandam, NL (1996-1997) juxtaposes the adolescent and teenage patrons of two different nightclubs - a Liverpool disco and a Dutch techno club. The first half of the video at a Liverpool disco frequented by teenage girls dressed in skimpy dresses is contrasted with the second half at a Zaandam club frequented by gabbers known for their closely cropped hairstyles, baggy unisex clothing and preference for deafening techno music. In her second video, a charming portrait titled Annemiek (I wanna be with you) (1997), a young girl lip-synchs her favorite song by the pop group the Backstreet Boys.
Born in Sittard, the Netherlands, Dijkstra lives and works in Amsterdam. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Citibank Photography Prize (1999) and the Kodak Award Nederland (1987).