ZURICH, SWITZERLAND.- Fotomuseum Winterthur presents Rineke Dijkstra Portraits through May 22, 2005. During the past ten years, Rineke Dijkstra has achieved world fame on the art scene with her impressive portrait series. In the early 1990s she began working on beach portraits, austere frontal photographs of young people on the beaches of the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Gabun and the Ukraine. In this series, Rineke Dijkstra concentrated on the moment in which a pose began to develop. Hesitation and uncertainty are evident in her subjects' attitudes and expressions and refer to the existential loneliness of the adolescent. The backgrounds, limited only by the choice of cropping, the rather low camera angle and the use of a flash, clarify the often culturally defined details in the pictures.
In her choice of the post climax as the starting point of three focal groups of work, Rineke Dijkstra opens up a field of subtle, weak-willed, submissive insights into the human condition. She shows the first scarring, the first achievement, the first post-experience of young people, and she shows it as the first sign of maturity and depth. She creates portraits that are not a confirmatory ritual but which represent a balance between the individual, the group (the bathers, the mothers, the soldiers) and universal human existence in general in the face of birth and death, thereby developing a new and very individual interpretation of the classical portrait. In the age of brash poses and shrill screams, Rineke Dijkstras calm, full presence creates a new form of monumentality and a new form of beauty in the photographic portrait. (Urs Stahel)
"Rineke Dijkstra Portraits" combines around seventy photographs selected from the most important series, as well as her two major videos, to form a general overview of the work of the Dutch photographer, born in 1959. In addition to the beach photos there are portraits of mothers immediately after the birth of their children, bullfighters, girls from the Buzzclub, photographs taken in the Berlin zoo, and portraits of male and female Israeli soldiers.
The exhibition is being prepared by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Fotomuseum Winterthur.