previews

  • Rineke Dijkstra, Long Island, New York, July 1, 1993, color photograph, 66 1/8 x 55 3/4".

    Rineke Dijkstra, Long Island, New York, July 1, 1993, color photograph, 66 1/8 x 55 3/4".

    “Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective”

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    February 18–May 20, 2012

    Curated by Sandra S. Phillips and Jennifer Blessing

    One learns, over time, to look confidently at images by Rineke Dijkstra. But when first encountering them (say, for instance, those pictures of arrogant-prudish-awkward adolescents on the beach), a genre-based vertigo ensues: Are these photographs following legacies of social documentary, or do they, instead, unapologetically address the scopophilia lurking in all of us? Critics are quick to assign a lineage to Dijkstra’s oeuvre, tracking her roving lens to predecessors from Dutch portrait painters to Diane Arbus. But there is something to be said for declining to trace such genealogies to their sources and letting them tangle instead. With the seventy-odd photographs and several video installations on view in her first major exhibition in an American museum, audiences will be able to judge for themselves in what ways the human typologies Dijkstra has assembled can be—or perhaps refuse to be—comfortably categorized.