The Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra started gaining international recognition over 20 years ago with her Beach Portrait series. She became a sensation in the photography world due to her ability to capture subjects that are powerful, insistent and able to leave a lasting and profound impression on the viewer. Dijkstra made a career out of taking images of people in their natural environment - however, her photos tend to leave an impression that the picture also simultaneously isolates the subjects from their natural surroundings. Rineke Dijkstra is quite aware that there's a lot of rich tradition in the history of portraiture - and, in many ways, her show titled as The One and the Many demonstrates how this photographer builds on her control over the art of making portraits. This exhibition will be held at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark.
Rineke Dijkstra’s works that will be displayed at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art offer us an insight into the inner depths of the individuals they portray and, when the pictures are hung alongside one another or are grouped in some other fashion, into the possibility of social identification. These photos are capable of activating our own experiences, a feature that any professional photographer should aspire to possess. Dijkstra’s subjects stare back at us as we look at them, as if we are the ones being displayed. The artist based the selected collection on two fundamental truths: that we are not alone in this world and that human beings can simultaneously be very similar and yet endlessly different. Hence the name of the show - The One and the Many.
Interestingly, you will never find spectacular scenes in Rineke Dijkstra’s works - she exercises great visual economy and restraint as her artistic vocabulary insists that less is almost always more. It appears as if she is always under complete control, never letting things get out of hand. And yet, despite the intentional lack of excitement, a whole fascinating world lies within Dijkstra’s photos. By getting the most out of her subjects' posture, gaze and gestures, she makes images that resonate between the posed and the natural, existing somewhere perfectly in the middle of the two. She is also a master of indicating small details that would never attract attention in the real world.
Rineke Dijkstra is already known for her works in the Louisiana collection as her photographs and video art are definitely not strangers to this institution, but The One and the Many exhibition is the first overview of her art in a complete Scandinavian context. Besides presenting her work, another motivation for the show's curators was the fact Dijkstra will soon receive the prestigious Hasselblad Award in Gothenburg, Sweden. The One and the Many exhibition will be shown in the west wing of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark from the 21st of September to the 30th of December, 2017.
Featured image: Rineke Dijkstra - Marianna and Sasha (detail), Kingisepp, Russia, November 2, 2014. All images courtesy of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.