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This may be one of those you-had-to-be-there kind of situations, but seeing Rineke Dijkstra’s retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum this past Saturday was more exhilarating than I would have imagined and could probably convey in this post. This talented Dutch photographer’s portraits, both photographic and videographic, capture youth in all its sweetness, innocence, self-consciousness and more, in the faces of her subjects. She could not have made up these faces if she had painted them, and many of them have a 17th-Century Dutch painting quality even when the subjects are not Dutch! The photographs and their size have an imposing presence, but my favorites for sure were the videos, especially the top floor’s series Krazy House where each wall is projected with one video at a time of adolescents from Liverpool alternating between self-consciously dancing and thoroughly enjoying themselves rocking out while mouthing the words to the songs. These are so surprisingly engaging—as well as touching and amusing—which seems to be the general consensus watching the crowd in the center of the room remain for long periods and swivel their gaze uniformly and eagerly from one wall to the next as each video ends. If you’re not in NYC you can take a look at the videos below, but seeing them in person is obviously a completely different experience and highly recommended.
Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective will be on view through October 8, 2012.