Rineke Dijkstra. Odessa, Ukraine. August 4, 1993

Rineke Dijkstra Odessa, Ukraine August 4, 1993

  • Not on view

Odessa, Ukraine is one of twenty photographs of adolescents and teenagers Dijkstra made between 1992 and 1998 on beaches in Belgium, Croatia, England, Poland, Ukraine, and the United States. Each of these portraits shows the full length of the figure standing in relief against a backdrop of sand, water, and sky. The simplicity of the pictures initially seems to deny the complexity of the content, but in fact it ultimately enhances it. While we first see each person as a shape and the pictures as interchangeable, we quickly become alert to the particulars of a subject's posture, dress, economic status, and psychological state. In this picture the subject's gawkiness is clearly the result of his effort to present his boyish body with the confidence of an adult.

An exceptional range of vulnerability characterizes the portraits and becomes the subject of the series. This repetition of vulnerability from figure to figure creates a kind of abstraction that simultaneously describes the state of the individual and a universal human condition. In all Dijkstra's portraits, which include mothers who have just given birth and matadors who have just left the bullring, she captures people during moments of transition, when their heightened emotional or psychological states precipitate a change in their characters.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 136.
Medium
Chromogenic color print
Dimensions
46 3/8 × 37" (117.8 × 94 cm)
Credit
Gift of Agnes Gund
Object number
613.1997
Copyright
© 2019 Rineke Dijkstra
Department
Photography

Installation views

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.