Rineke Dijkstra: The One And the Many
Exhibition, Louisiana, Humlebæk, Denmark.
The exhibition 'The One and The Many' marks the first specific overview of Rineke Dijkstra's work in Scandinavia.
There is a great and rich tradition in the history of art of looking at others, a legacy to which Rineke Dijkstra subscribes. Her works activate our own experiences of looking at people and being looked at, and are based on two fundamental truths: that we are not alone in the world and that as human beings we are at once very much the same and endlessly different. This relationship between the sense of belonging together and of difference is the existential condition against which she creates her art. Attention is a practical ability but also a precondition of empathy and understanding among people, and Dijkstra’s art is a profoundly humanist project.
A true master of modern portraiture, the Dutch artist’s large photographs and videos are brilliant studies of identity, vulnerability and dignity. She manages to capture people so that they are present to an astonishing degree, right there in that very moment. Her large-scale photographs show a rare sense of humanity, empathy and intimacy without any trace of sentimentality or indiscretion. Dijkstra typically captures her subjects at moments of transition or vulnerability, thus focusing on the thematics of identity. Though absolutely modern, even timeless, her portraiture brings to mind the great masters of the Golden Age of Dutch art. Explains Dijkstra:
“I try to capture something of the personality of these people, but at the same time extract something universal relating to humanity in general. There has to be enough space to make your own stories; to interpret a picture the way you want.”