Rineke Dijkstra: An Ode
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
20 May — 5 August, 2017
Curated by Karen Archey and Hripsimé Visser
The exhibition both includes iconic photographic works and highlights her early video work and her return to the medium in recent years. The exhibition also premieres three works that have never been displayed in the Netherlands.
This year, the celebrated Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra (Sittard, 1959) is the recipient of the 2017 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, the medium’s most prestigious award. In honor of Dijkstra, the Stedelijk Museum, who has followed her work since the 1990s and in 2005 mounted an international traveling survey, presents Rineke Dijkstra: An Ode, a snapshot of the artist’s photographic and video work ranging from 1994 to the present.
Rineke Dijkstra: An Ode totals 21 photographs and four videos. The exhibition is primarily comprised of the Stedelijk Museum’s extensive holdings of Dijkstra’s work, supplemented with loans from the artist. Shown for the first time in the Netherlands are Marianna [The Fairy Doll], 2014; Marianna and Sasha, Kingisepp, Russia, November 2 2014, 2014; and Odessa, Ukraine, August 6 1993, 1993.
IDENTITY IN CONSTRUCTION
Rineke Dijkstra's striking photographs, often frontal portraits that capture youth and young adults in periods of transition and fragility, lay bare the tenderness of identity construction in the making. The marks of social rearing come through in her subject’s self-representation, whether it be through a young man’s induction to the military (Olivier, 2000-2003), or through a carefully-rehearsed ballet dance (Marianna [The Fairy Doll], 2014), the insecurities and swagger of adolescents on a club night (The Buzz Club, Liverpool, UK / Mystery World, Zaandam, NL, 1995-1996), or the simultaneous trauma and joy of giving birth (Tia, 1994; Julie, 1994; Tecla, 1994 and Saskia, 1994). Dijkstra’s masterfully composed portraits encapsulate universally relatable truths about our lived experience as social beings, our bittersweet and carefully rehearsed induction into the world of humanity. Dijkstra’s photography is known for the beauty and virtuosity of her work, and the way she balances pose, detail and chance to create her stunning compositions. Her photographs, marked by their technical mastery, combine the objective gaze of social portrait photography, such as that of August Sander, with an arresting emotional dimension.