Opening the door to Hidden Islam

Hidden Islam by Nicolo Degiorgis
Hidden Islam by Nicolo Degiorgis

Whilst working for the Italian Contrasto photo agency Nicoló Degiorgis was given the task of photographing the Muslim community in Northern Italy as part of an international project. Although the wider project fell by the wayside little did Degiorgis know that his work would actually take five years and end in the critically acclaimed book Hidden Islam.

When he turned up to photograph at the first mosque location he was given Degiorgis discovered the worshippers were actually not in a ‘classical’ building but were using a temporary space inside a converted warehouse. In Italy the main religions have good representation with the government but Islam still remains mostly unrecognised. The number of official mosques in Italy numbers only a handful but, in the small region Degiorgis was working in, it is believed that there were almost two hundred ‘unofficial ones’.

Using maps, interviews and newspaper articles he was able to locate many of the temporary mosques. Whenever an application was made to build a permanent mosque there was often complaining letters and articles in local news papers and these were a rich source of information. Using this method he was able to find, visit and photograph around twenty makeshift mosques in two years.

The advent of Google maps and Street View made his research task far easier.
With information from the newspapers he was able to use Street view to get a feel for the area and better locate the mosques. As is only right many of the worshippers wanted to spread word about their mosque and provided interior shots of the buildings for use by Google.

You can check this out for yourself with just a few mouse clicks. If you go to google maps and enter ‘Centro Islamico do Spinea’ you are taken to the exact spot of the mosque. With street view you can see outside and if you select the photograph option you can see the interior images. Degiorgis’ photograph of this space appears in the book on page 15.

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By saving all of the places he was able to create a large catalogue of different building types in use. Working through Hidden Islam you can see that a different photographic strategy was used to frame each of the types. In the case of apartment buildings, for example, the camera was placed directly in front of the building and the frame was cropped on the floor that the prayer room was located – if the room was on the 2nd floor then the higher floors would be missing. The communities he works in tends to be those of migrant workers and second-generation immigrants. These communities often have little money and generally live on the poorer fringes of cities. Industrial units tend to be the cheapest places to rent for the mosques.

The book itself is cleverly designed by Degiorgis himself. On flicking through the pages you are presented with endless non-descript black-and-white shots of the exteriors of buildings. From this casual flick through it is easy to miss the point of the work. A second reading of the book an you discover that every other page is actually folded over. When you open out these pages you are presented with colourful and vivid shots of the hidden mosques and their worshippers, usually on their hands and knees in the act of praying.

Degiorgis is sensitive to the needs of those he has photographed and has shown all of the images in the book to the communities involved. If there were any concerns about the images he would drop them. Several images were dropped before the first print run and even now, with a third edition, three of the original images have been swapped out at the request of the communities.

Despite this close cooperation with his subjects, Degiorgis still receives some criticism about his work. It has been argued that the kneeling, head down, position that fills so many of the interior pages makes the subjects look awkward and submissive, more so as the majority of these shots are taken from behind and so we as viewers are presented with rows of raised bottoms. Degiorgis sites several reasons for this approach. From the purely aesthetic capturing this moment allows him to get more people into the frame than if they were standing, it is easier to see how the worshippers fill the space. When he first started visiting the mosques it was the moment of synchronised prayer that struck him as a powerful visual symbol of the act of worship. From a practical point Islamic law strictly forbade him from taking pictures from the front of the mosque during the ceremonies.

Hidden Islam - 479 Comments. Image taken from the photographer's website.
Hidden Islam – 479 Comments. Image taken from the photographer’s website.

After the book was reviewed by Sean O’Hagan for The Guardian website the article received 479 comments in the five days that followed – The Guardian closes off comments after this period for all of it’s stories. These comments have been collected together alongside some of Degiorgis research to make the book Hidden Islam – 479 Comments. This book is intended as an appendix to the main work but only 300 copies have been printed so you may have to move quickly if you want a copy. You can read more about that book on The Guardian website.

 

Hidden Islam is an example of a great photobook, Hiding the colour images inside bland grey exterior shots is a brilliant stroke of design. Degiorgis is able to deal with the subject of religion, isolationist policies and migrants forced to live along the fringes in a seemingly simple series of photographs. First editions of the book have increased in price but the current, third edition, can still be bought from the Rorhof website for the original price of £35.

 

 

– the bulk of the information in this article has been sourced from a presentation given to  photography students, including myself,  by Nicoló Degiorgis at the University of South Wales, Newport in February 2015.

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Magnum Contact Sheets contact edition published

Contact sheet from Bruce Gilden.
Contact sheet from Bruce Gilden.

I don’t recommend that many photo books as ‘must haves’ for serious photographers but “Magnum Contact Sheets” is one of them. Released a while back as a monster sized edition the £100 or so price tag put many people off. It has now been released as a compact edition (but with 16 more pages bringing the total to 524!). Once you’ve finished looking at all those lovely images and seeing the thought processes of the photographers you can always use the book as a handy step. Buy your copy whilst you can get hold of one!

Artist Talk: Elin Høyland

In an earlier post I talked about a visit to the Norwegian Church in Cardiff to see The Brothers exhibition.  I loved the images in the exhibition and noticed in the Diffusion 2013 programme that the photographer was giving a free talk and gallery walk.

It was with a little trepidation that I attended, as I can find these events a little pretentious.  Fortunately this did not prove to be the case and Elin, although initially seeming shy at the attention, quickly got into her stride and gave a really interesting talk.

The small but very attentive group
The small but very attentive group

Her series The Brothers is a quiet and intimate look a the lives of two elderly Norwegians, Harald and Mathias Ramen.  Elin was initially working on a ‘pairs’ project and heard about the two brothers from a friend.  She had only planned to take a few images of the two but soon realised that this was a much more compelling project.  The ‘pairs’ project was put to one side but elements of this are evident in The Brothers, with multiple paired images.

Elin described how she found it quite difficult to penetrate the brothers lives.  They were reclusive and not used to talking to outsiders.  However, she was able to gradually establish a rapport with them, although from her description it seemed that there was always a distance between her and her subjects.  After some of the images were published in a local paper the brothers achieved local celebrity status, prior to this they had been regarded as rather an odd couple.

Discussing the silent communication between the brothers
Discussing the silent communication between the brothers

For the first few sessions Elin didn’t even take a camera but used the time, usually no more than an hour, just to try and get the brothers to talk and find out about them.  She noticed that their lives were simple but very ordered.  The brothers spent their time chopping wood, restocking numerous bird tables around their property and bird watching.  They didn’t have a television but had a radio each and access to a telephone (for their weekly call to a relative who rang to make sure that all was well).

Talking about the brothers pale skin
Talking about the brothers pale skin

Although she never really broke into the brothers ‘inner circle’ she did build enough trust to be able to take photographs.  The project started in 2001 and was finally finished in 2009.  Harald, the younger brother passed away in 2004, and Elin visited to take pictures of the last brother until he also died in 2007.  She returned to the house following their deaths with the last time being in 2009, when she took some images from outside the home.  Over the years Elin showed the brothers many of the images that she had taken and talked through her work with them.  She didn’t realise just how successful the project was to become and, as the book wasn’t published until 2011, the brothers never realised just how widespread their fame would be.

Proof that my copy is real!
Proof that my copy is real!

The talk itself lasted around thirty minutes and afterwards Elin stayed around to talk to people individually and to sign copies of her book.  I even convinced her to let me get a picture of us both standing by the most famous image from the series.  In my earlier post about the Church I complained that the gallery space didn’t do the images justice.  The atmosphere for the talk was completely different.  The small space really worked to create an intimate feeling to the talk.  Questions could be asked at normal speaking voice and it was easy to hear everything being said.  As Elin talked about different images it was very easy to move around the gallery to see what she was talking about.

One thing that I am almost surprised about is that photographers have to pay to get their work published.  The Brothers finally made it into print in 2011 and is published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.  Elin had to approach the publishers and pay a substantial amount (she wouldn’t say but hinted it was well over £10,000) to get the printing presses rolling.  In order to get the money together she had to seek a grant from the Norwegian Photographer’s Fund.  Is this really the way that publishing should work?  Publishers have plenty of experience in what images sell and so should be prepared to risk their money to support the best photographers.

Elin agrees to pose next to her work.  I grin like an idiot :)
Elin agrees to pose next to her work. I grin like an idiot 🙂

The event was organised as part of Cardiff’s brilliant Diffusion 2013 Photography festival.  The festival runs for the month of May and so there is still time to go along to the multitude of exhibitions and events being run across the city.  If you are in the Cardiff area then you should definitely make time to visit The Brothers exhibition.

Update:  An image of my grim face made it to the official Diffusion page about the talk!

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Diffusion 2013: Pop Up Studio

One of the highlights of the Diffusion festival was the chance to actually become a part of the experience.  I have been following Newport graduate Kirsty Mackay’s blog for several months now having discovered her work as part of research for my uni applications.  One of her projects is to set up a make shift studio in a busy area and take portraits of anyone who wants one.  This allows her to create a pictorial record of people in ‘everyday’ clothes and gives the subject a nice print to keep.

Kirsty in action, doing her best despite her ugly model :)
Kirsty in action, doing her best despite her ugly model 🙂 – thanks Hannah for taking this shot

I must admit that I was initially surprised at the sparseness of the pop-up studio but within minutes of chatting to Kirsty it was clear that she knew what she was doing.  We were quickly put at ease and she worked methodically to get the shots she needed – despite little Lyra doing her best to throw a temper tantrum.

One image from each subject is going to be printed up (Kirsty was using a Mamiya 7ii medium format film camera) and will be on display in The Cardiff Story for several weeks but  best of all we get to keep our image!  I’ll post a copy of our print later in the month.  In addition Kirsty was shooting with her iPhone and shortly after our shoot she tweeted me this picture:

LyraPop
Daddy and Daughter – although the bad weather was upsetting Lyra

 

Diffusion 2013: Chapter

PFox-19Having visited several galleries across Cardiff we turned for home.  The traffic was pretty poor and so we took a detour which turned out to run right past another Diffusion venue: Chapter.  I’d never heard of the place before but it will be on our list to visit more often.  It has a ‘cool’ vibe to it and is a mix of cinema, theatre, gallery, workshop, and cafe space.  There were a lot of people drinking lattes and typing away on their Macs (so if you hate that sort of thing then give it a big miss!).

There were three exhibitions here:

Gideon Kopple’s BORTH

 “a film installation filmed in the west Wales’ town of Borth – a curious and extraordinary place where the infinite horizon of the sea collides with a random collection of architectures; where epic landscape is playfully juxtaposed with the intimacy of human gesture.”

We decide to get interactive with the art.
We decide to get interactive with the “art” of Borth.

Maurizio Anzeri’s But It’s Not Late It’s Only Dark 

“His first solo exhibition in Wales features newly commissioned and previously unseen works, alongside a selection of his critically acclaimed ‘photo-sculptural’ pieces.  Anzeri uses found photographs and embroidery to create subtly sculptural pieces in which strangers are given new identities; complex and mysterious. Anzeri sees photographic portraits as landscapes, exploring them in order to layer them with his own maps or orientation to invent what he describes as “other possible evolutionary dimensions for the people pictured”. Labyrinths of forms and colours create intriguing geographies of faces, histories and souls with eyes that stare enigmatically from the centre of their ‘masks’. Alongside this established practice, Anzeri will show new works that utilise embroidery and personal photography to create imagined or psychological space; private reality that becomes public fantasy.”

Despite being really close to  Anzeri's work a visitor is still left thinking, wtf?
Despite being really close to Anzeri’s work a visitor is still left thinking, wtf?

Anzeris talks about his work:

Emma Bennett, a selection of works

“Appropriating imagery from historical Dutch and Italian painting, Bennett immaculately renders bowls of ripened fruit, bouquets of blooming flowers, dead game and swathes of rich fabric that reflect this long tradition of still life painting – of apparent naturalism underpinned by compositional artifice, and of time suspended. Emerging out of the midnight–black void of her canvas, the subjects allude to the transitory nature of existence; to life, death and the after-life.”

Lots of people being 'creative' under Emma Bennett's work
Lots of people being ‘creative’ under Emma Bennett’s work

I really love documentary photography and tend to avoid art photography with as wide a berth as possible.  Despite that I was determined to see what these three exhibitions had to offer as inspiration can come from any source.

Whilst individual frames of the Borth installation were interesting we were not prepared to commit 50 minutes of our lives to watch the whole thing – and the sound was broken and so we watched in silence.

Anzeri’s work is definitely “different”, lots of black and white images with hundreds of threads running through them.  I didn’t understand it at all despite looking through the several thousand word accompanying pamphlet that we were handed on our way in.

Emma Bennett’s images were a refreshing change and the influences of early painted works was obvious.  I don’t think using the main hall was the best use of space for these works but it was nice to see such large images on display.  These were paintings and not photographs and so it seems it was a clear win for ‘traditional’ art over photography, the new pretender.

What’s On! Photographic events for MAY 2013 in Wales

Diffusion Festival 2013

Various Locations around Cardiff 1 – 31 May

Diffusion 2013 is staged in Cardiff, Wales’ capital, a city that in recent years has undergone major economic and social transformation. The festival uses both traditional and new media to create a strong visual presence across existing venues and found spaces and through various interventions in the public realm. We encourage visitors and residents alike to navigate Cardiff and its environs in new ways and to discover facets of the city they would not normally expect to find.

Above all, Diffusion 2013 is a celebration of photography and the photographic image, in all its forms. Whether created, published, exhibited, collected or distributed in a physical or virtual way, the photograph has the power to inspire and provoke reaction, to reflect our own experience and that of society evolving around us.

Events are being updated but the following have been confirmed:

Wednesday 1 May
11am f&d cartier Wait and See unveiling at Oriel Canfas5 – 7pm Festival Opening Reception and From common differences exhibition opening at St David’s Hall
7 – 9pm Alicia Bruce Encore exhibition opening at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Friday 3 May
6 – 9pm Exhibition openings at Chapter:
Gideon Koppel B O R T H (Studio)
Emma Bennett Thief of Time (Art in the Bar)
Saturday 4 May
12 – 2pm European Chronicles exhibition opening at The Cardiff Story (1st Floor exhibition gallery)
2 – 4pm Exhibition openings at Tramshed:
4.30 – 6.30pm Edgar Martins The Time Machine exhibition opening at Ffotogallery (see below)
5 – 8 pm Wild Oats exhibition opening at Milkwood Gallery
7 – 10pm Barnraising and Bunkers exhibition opening at g39

Edgar Martins: The Time Machine

Cardiff 1 May – 7 June 2013

In 2010 and 2011, Martins gained exclusive access to 20 power plants located across Portugal. Many were built between the 1950s and 1970s, a time of hopeful prospects for rapid economic growth and social change. The Time Machine records objects and spaces whose grand and progressive designs testify to the scope and ambition of the vision they were built to serve.    Ffotogallery, Plymouth Road, Penarth, CF64 3DH


Sebastian Liste: Urban Quilombo

Cardiff 4 May – 23 June 2013

Eight years ago sixty families occupied the “Galpao da Araujo Barreto”, an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Before that, these families lived in the dangerous streets of the city until they decided to come together and occupy this factory in ruins and turn it in a home. Liste has been working in this project since 2009, living with the families and their daily dramas. Documenting the daily life inside of this community, where the life moves between the universal bipolarity of harmony and chaos, hope and despair.    Third Floor Gallery, 102 Bute Street, Penarth, CF10 5AD


Helen Sear: Lure

Cardiff 25 May – 21 June 2013

One of Wales’ most important artists, Helen Sear’s practice is characterized by her exploration of the crossover between photography and fine art, her focus on the natural world and the startling beauty of her work. The exhibition sees Sear continuing to explore the act of looking and relationships between nature, space and scale to present still and moving images of remarkable power.    Bay Art Gallery, 54B/C Bute Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AF


European Chronicles

Cardiff 1 May – 31 May 2013

European Chronicles puts forward a vision of contemporary Europe as experienced through photographic work reflecting various personal, family and community stories. The exhibition showcases the work of Mindaugas Ažušilis, David Barnes, Tina Carr & Annemarie Schöne, John Duncan, Anna Kurpaska, Catrine Val, Arturas Valiaga and others.

The exhibition is presented by Ffotogallery as part of Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography. A month long festival of exhibitions, discussions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places.  The Cardiff Story, The Old Library, Cardiff, CF10 1BH


Maurizio Anzeri: But it’s not too late

1 May – 30 June 2013

Anzeri uses found photographs and embroidery to create subtly sculptural pieces in which strangers are given new identities; complex and mysterious. Anzeri sees photographic portraits as landscapes, exploring them in order to layer them with his own maps or orientation to invent what he describes as “other possible evolutionary dimensions for the people pictured”. Labyrinths of forms and colours create intriguing geographies of faces, histories and souls with eyes that stare enigmatically from the centre of their ‘masks’. Alongside this established practice, Anzeri will show new works that utilise embroidery and personal photography to create imagined or psychological space; private reality that becomes public fantasy.  Chapter, Market Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QE

Also at Chapter:

Diffusion Free Family Workshop

25 May 2013
Zine-a-thon: Join Mark Thomas and learn how to make your own photocopied zine.

Diffusion Publishing Fair

25 May -26 May 2013

Diffusion Photobook Symposium

26 May
Early bird booking before 1 May £15, after 1 May £20
Book HERE

Rineke Dijkstra

Self Portrait, Marnixbad, 1991
Self Portrait, Marnixbad, 1991

During one of my first visits to a photo gallery I came across an exhibition of work by the photographer Rineke Dijkstra.  The portraits, all taken of teenagers and youngsters on the beach, were blown up to be larger than life and the detail in them was incredible.  I felt a little uncomfortable looking at the images, the subjects seemed ungainly and captured looking awkward and unsettled.  As a result of the visit I’ve been following her work for some time now.

Rineke was born in Sittard, the Netherlands, in 1959. She studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam from 1981 to 1986. Since her first solo exhibitions at de Moor in Amsterdam in the early 1980s, Dijkstra has shown at museums and galleries across the world.  She has received wide recognition and numerous awards for her work, including the Kodak Award Nederland, the Art Encouragement Award Amstelvee, the Werner Mantz Award, and the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize. Guggenheim

Rineke works in series, creating groups of photographs and videos around a specific typology or theme. In 1992, she started making portraits of adolescents posed on beaches from Hilton Head, South Carolina, to Poland and Ukraine. Shot from a low perspective, the subjects of the Beach Portraits (1992–2002), poised on the brink of adulthood, take on a monumental presence. In contemporaneous works, including portraits of new mothers after giving birth, and photographs of bullfighters immediately after leaving the ring, she sought subjects whose physical exhaustion diminished the likelihood of a forced pose. Guggenheim

Beach Portraits

Kolobrzeg, Poland, 1992
Kolobrzeg, Poland, 1992

This is a large-format colour photograph of a girl standing on a beach. She holds her body in a curved pose that recalls the depiction of Venus emerging from the sea in the famous renaissance painting, The Birth of Venus (1485-6, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence) by Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510). The girl in her photograph tilts her head to one side, appearing to look directly at the viewer. She wears an old-fashioned lime green swimsuit which is damp up to her lower stomach. Dijkstra used a flash in combination with natural light and a narrow depth of field, placing only the foreground and subject in focus, with the result that she appears artificially illuminated. This is accentuated by the darkness of the background relative to the girl’s pale body. Unlike the traditional portrait which is normally titled with the subject’s name, this work’s title states the location and date of the meeting between artist and girl. It is one of a series of twenty Beach Portraits (formerly known as Bathers) which Dijkstra created between 1992 and 1998.  TATE

Hilton Head Island, USA, 1992
Hilton Head Island, USA, 1992

The images from this series were inspired by a self portrait taken after a lengthy swimming session but it is also possible to find inspiration from the painting The Bather by Cezanne. Shown below the visual styling of The Bather is very similar to the work of Rineke.  Cezanne has portrayed his subject pushed up to the front of the canvas in a slightly awkward pose. Foreground and deep space have been defined but the middle plane has been omitted – the result is an odd flattening of the image.  NY Mag

Cezanne, The Bather, 1886
Cezanne, The Bather, 1886

In an interview with the New York Times in November 2012 the street/documentary photographer Joel Meyerowitz talked about his photography and on whom it had influenced:

“Rineke Dijkstra said that Mr. Meyerowitz’s work was a “real eye-opener” for her as a student in Amsterdam in the 1980s. Like many other young European photographers, she was still working in black-and-white, but Mr. Meyerowitz’s complex way with light in seemingly straightforward pictures of swimming pools and beaches helped her understand the power of colour” NY Times

Meyerowitz had exhibited these photos in Amsterdam in 1983, the same time Dijkstra was a student.  Looking at two of Meyerowitz’s images makes the links between both series much easier to see:

Caroline, Provincetown, 1983
Caroline, Provincetown, 1983
Eliza, Provincetown, 1982
Eliza, Provincetown, 1982

New Mothers

This is a series of three portraits of women made shortly after they had given birth. All the women were known to the artist – one was a personal friend and the other two were friends of friends. Dijkstra photographed the women in their homes because in Holland it is more common for women to give birth at home than in a hospital. While bearing signs of their recent ordeal – the medical pants and sanitary towel which Julie wears, a trickle of blood down the inside of Tecla’s left leg, the caesarean scar on Saskia’s belly – the women appear proud and happy. They hold their new babies turned away from the camera, protectively pressed against their bodies. Dijkstra has developed a way of combining natural light with flash which results in particular quality of soft, clear light. Julie’s left hand covers her baby’s eyes to protect them from the flash.  TATE

Julie, Den Haag
Julie, Den Haag

Dijkstra was inspired to make these portraits after watching the birth of a friend’s baby. She is interested in photographing people at a time when they do not have everything under control. She uses the device of the formally posed, full-length portrait to try to reveal something of what people carry inside them – the emotional intensity concealed behind the mask of the face and the body’s pose.

Tecla, Amsterdam
Tecla, Amsterdam

The photographic portrait, titled with the date and place, records a specific moment in time in which the subject was undergoing a particular experience. Dijkstra has commented:

“As a photographer you enlarge or emphasize a certain moment, making it another reality. For instance the portraits I made of women after giving birth: the reality of this experience is about the whole atmosphere, which is very emotional. In the photograph, you can scrutinize all the details, which makes it a bit harsh: you can see things you normally would not pay so much attention to.” (Dijkstra, 2003)

Saskia, Harderwijk
Saskia, Harderwijk

Israeli Portrait

dij10
Shany: Induction Centre March 2002 and Palmahim Israeli Air Force Base Oct 2002

dij11
Tel Hashomer May 2003 and Herzliya August 2003

This is one of my favourite series of Rineke’s work.  Shany, a young Israeli women, is recorded at stages over the course of 18 months, from her first day in uniform in the Israeli Defence Force until after she quit the army.

As usual with Ms. Dijkstra, the photographs are simple, head-on figures against plain backdrops, the subjects staring passively at the camera, presenting themselves as they wish, or trying to. They look alert but just on the edge of fatigue or distraction, which means their guard is almost down.  They grow up over the course of each series. Shany changes from a gawky, shy, frightened girl, lost in her uniform, into a young adult, looking confidently at us, an independent, even defiant woman who has shed her uniform.  NY Times

I think it is interesting the way that the subject seems to make a yo-yo progression in confidence as the series evolves. The initial gawkiness is replaced with a seemingly calm confidence in only a few months. In the third image Rineke has again placed her subject outside against a wall and the previous confident air has dissolved.  It may be something as simple as the pose of the mouth as,for me, the gap in the teeth takes away the ‘harshness’ of the backdrop and military uniform.  This series has received mixed reviews with GALO Magazine‘s critic being typical of those who found the series uninspiring.

 

More information, books and contact details:

A great video discussion of Rineke’s work, with some segments by the artist, can be found on the Guggenheim website HERE.  The video moves on to discuss some of Rineke’s video work, an interesting take on the portrait genre.  There is also a LINK to a second video in which Rineke and one of her subjects, Almersia, talk about her work and the shooting process.

Books:

dij12Retrospective £29 approx

“This volume is the first comprehensive monograph on Rineke Dijkstra to be published in the United States, accompanying the first U.S. mid-career survey of this important Dutch artists work in photography and video. The catalogue features the Beach Portraits and other early works such as the photographs of new mothers and bullfighters, together with selections from Dijkstras later work, including her most recent video installations. Also featured are series that the artist has been working on continuously for years, such as Almerisa (1994), which documents a young immigrant girl as she grows up and adapts to her new environment. Exhibition curators Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Sandra S. Phillips, Senior Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, contribute essays accompanied by an interview with the artist by Jan van Adrichem, selected interviews with several of the artists subjects, and entries on the artists series by Chelsea Spengemann, as well as the most comprehensive exhibition history and bibliography to date.”

dij13Portraits if you have more money as it’s currently £110!

“Rineke Dijkstra is renowned for her uncanny and thoughtful portraits series of teenagers and young adults: girls and boys of various nationalities at the beach, children of Bosnian refugees, Spanish bullfighters straight out of the arena, Israeli youngsters before and after military service, and here, documented for the first time, her series of photographs taken of aspiring, young ballet dancers. Her subjects are shown standing, facing the camera, against a minimal background. Formally, the images resemble classical portraiture with their frontally posed figures isolated against minimal backgrounds. Yet, in spite of the uniformity in the photographer’s works, there is a marked individuality in each of her subjects. Dijkstra often deals with the development of personality as one moves from adolescence to adulthood, or through a life-changing or potentially threatening experience such as childbirth, or a bullfight.Portraits includes the photographer’s new Ballet School series. In the end, it’s the individual that I’m after.”

There is a video of the Portraits book on Youtube (not sure about the music though!):

Like Rineke on FACEBOOK

Rineke talks to The Guardian newspaper about her best shot

Talking prior to the opening of her retrospective show to Art in America

If you are really interested in how Rineke works and her inspirations and techniques there is an hour long video of her being interviewed by Jennifer Blessing, the Curator of the Guggenheim New York.