Dijkstra captures young subjects going through transitional times, reflecting the vulnerability of lost innocence. (American Photo
The Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra, whose images have appeared in W, makes naturalistic portraits and videos of those whose lives are in transition: young adults, soldiers, new mothers. The subject of a major retrospective at New York's Guggenheim Museum, Dijkstra uses a 4x5 field camera, in part, she says, because its slow, cumbersome operation creates "a space where things can happen. The people I shoot really have to open themselves up to me. And I have to open up, too. It's an interaction." (Fan Zhong W Magazine
Dijkstra has remained somewhat under the radar in the U.S., but her first major American retrospective is now on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and wll travel to New York's Guggenheim in June. "She's not a flashy person, and her work is subtle, not obvious," says Sandra S. Phillips, SFMOMA's senior curator of photography, "but I think profound." (Julie L. Belcove Elle
Ms. Dijkstra, 52, whose 4-by-5-inch field camera requires slow, laborious work with plates, doesn't like to talk much during a shoot. She tries to create room for something genuine to happen.
When you take a photograph, she said, "you look in a more objective way," but there is also a connection between photographer and subject. "It's recognition, as Diane Arbus said.
"I'm not just an observer," she added. "We have to respond to each other. It's a kind of tension which I like." (Hilarie Sheets The New York Times
The book and exhibition emphasize photography's role as a tool for empathy and understanding. (Jennifer Blessing Photo District News