PRINT April 2001


THE GUNPOWDER STAINS on the young soldier’s face look a bit too authentic to be the real thing, as if some masterly makeup artist had just exited the frame. But, as it happens, this is the real thing. Only seconds before being photographed, the boy in uniform had been firing the enormous M-16 assault rifle that the state of Israel provides its soldiers for use during their three years of mandatory service. When Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra placed her subject in front of the camera, the gunfire was still resonating in his body. Is he posing?

In various series of works over the past decade, Dijkstra has portrayed young people in moments of vulnerability: young women who have just given birth, standing naked before the lens, child in arms; exhausted matadors postfight; adolescents in swimsuits on the beach. "What interests me is that ambivalent zone where you almost lose control,” Dijkstra

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