On the edge

Rineke Dijkstra, Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26 1992, 1992

Staying with portraiture but today with a little more information that simply what the subject looks like, Rineke Dijksta’s Beach Portraits take a typological approach that suggests she  shares some influences with Thomas Ruff. Despite a consistency of approach, Dijkstra doesn’t seek to achieve the same level of neutrality at Thomas Ruff does with the Posrtraits series. Apart from the images I’m concentrating on here, the series includes pictures of boys and of groups of adolescents but in the interests of not ramblong on too much I’m limiting myself to looking at three of the pictures of girls.

Dijkstra’s Beach Portraits series is of adolescents standing facing the camera with the sea behind them. Despite the simplicity of this approach, each has a slightly different stance which suggests very different levels of confidence. The girl photographed in Kolobrzeg, Poland, July 26 1992 has a relaxed stance and her gaze seems to connect with the viewer. What I find most touching about this picture is the slightly ill-fitting swimsuit which looks as though it may be cut for a slightly more developed figure, damp at the bottom suggesting she’s just come out of the sea but hasn’t been swimming.

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