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Rineke Dijkstra

Stephany, Saint Joseph Ballet, Orange County, California, USA, March 22

2003

Rineke Dijkstra makes photographs of people at transitional moments in their lives; her subjects have ranged from self-conscious teenagers and postnatal mothers to young men and women before and after joining the army and matadors after bullfights. Dijkstra’s work is often titled with the subject’s name, location, occupation, and month and day the picture was taken, making clear that each is a record of the sitter at a specific time and place in his or her life. Stephany, Saint Joseph Ballet, Orange County, California, USA, March 22 depicts a young woman in three-quarter view looking directly at the camera. Besides the title, the vocation of the subject is suggested through an emphasis on her determination and poise, qualities typically associated with dancers.

Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959, Sittard, The Netherlands; lives and works in Amsterdam)
Stephany, Saint Joseph Ballet, Orange County, California, USA, March 22, 2003
C-print
35 1/4 x 28 1/4 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchased with funds provided by the Acquisition and Collection Committee

For me it is essential to understand that everyone is alone. Not in the sense of loneliness, but rather in the sense that no one can completely understand someone else. I know very well what Diane Arbus means when she says that one cannot crawl into someone else’s skin, but there is always an urge to do so anyway. I want to awaken definite sympathies for the person I have photographed. —Rineke Dijkstra