Rineke Dijkstra: Portraits.
Photographs by Rineke Dijkstra. Essays by URs Stahel and Hripsime Visser.
D.A.P./Schirmer/Mosel, New York City, 2005. 160 pp., 69 color illustrations, 9¾x13".
Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra first met international renown for her graceful beach portraits of pre-adolescents. Maintaining a fixed traditional style with a repeated frontal approach, Dijkstra documents various subjects removed from their social environment and caught in transitional states: teenage soldiers as they enter the service, mothers just after giving birth, bullfighters after exiting the arena, to name but a few. More than simply documenting a transitional moment, Dijkstra concentrates on that time just after the momentous event (the induction, or the birth, or the bullfight) and reveals a heightened tension in the subject who is delicately poised on the edge of an unknown future. She often records individuals over time; for instance photographing the same young man, first as he entered military service and subsequently over several years, and a young Bosnian girl refugee at two-year intervals, revealing palpable developmental and personality changes. Throughout, the subjects' emotional and physical individuality punctures the uniformity of Dijkstra's approach, producing some of today's most captivating portraits. This book was published to accompany a retrospective in Paris and features selections from her various projects. DENISE WOLFF
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