TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT May 1997

OUT OF THE BLUE: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF RINEKE DIJKSTRA

HALF A MILLENIUM AFTER Botticelli painted Venus as the central figure in the mysterious parable of Primavera, Rineke Dijkstra brings the figure back for a solo turn in the form of Polish adolescent on the beach of Kolobrzeg. Dijkstra’s Venus has the lock and slouch of a Renaissance beauty, to be sure but she is also the picture of a wary, awkward late-twentieth-century teenager—half wet, half exposed, half accessible, half grown. Like Botticelli’s other masterwork Birth of Venus, she rises up from the alabaster zone between the ocean and earth, becoming the 90’s cipher of individual evolution.

If this Polish Venus seems to have arms and legs that are too long, she is no different from the other puberty-stricken boys and girls whom Dijkstra has photographed on beaches in Europe and the United States since 1992. What is apparent on viewing any collection of these portraits is how similar

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.