Past: January 13 → February 21, 2015
Marian Goodman Gallery Paris presents the third exhibition of works by Rineke Dijkstra. We will be showing two new videos Marianna (The Fairy Doll) and The Gymschool, St Petersburg, both filmed in Russia and presented in the last edition of Manifesta 2014 (European Biennial of Contemporary art).
Known for her internationally acclaimed series of beach portraits depicting teenagers on the beaches of South Carolina, Poland or Ukraine (1992-2002), Rineke Dijkstra has also been producing video portraits since 1996. In her video Marianna (The Fairy Doll) we are introduced to a young classical dancer during a working session. The video follows one of her rehearsals in the studio of the Ilya Kuznetsov Children’s Ballet school in Moscow. Dijkstra delivers a touching portrait of this ballerina who has set out on the path to realize the dream of millions of young girls. This eloquent film bears witness to both Marianna’s determination and dedication as well as her fragility and vulnerability.
“Because Marianna moves so perfectly, we’re initially inclined to go along with that dream, even to believe that the girl herself believes in it- which makes the blow that much harder when she falls out of her role for a moment. Is she the real Marianna while dancing so perfectly, becoming at one with her dream, or when cracks begin to appear in that perfection ?” 1
Rythmic gymnastics, born in the ex-USSR in the 40s, demands incredible body flexibility and a strict discipline. While staying in St Petersburg, Rineke Dijkstra was fascinated by the skills of these young gymnasts and decided to conduct a study. Contrary to other girls of the same age these gymnasts are trained to conceal their emotions and it’s only when they make a mistake in their choreography that a glimmer of their real personality breaks through the controlled facade. The Gymschool, St Petersburg is projected on three screens in the downstairs gallery.
It is not by chance that Rineke Dijkstra is interested in the transition from childhood to adolescence; a time when every individual builds his or her own identity and begins to present themselves in the way they wish to be perceived. Full of humanity and empathy Dijkstra creates a real intimacy with her young models.
“In my work there is a documentary aspect which consists in describing individual situations as revealing examples of a whole context. There is also a psychological aspect which focuses on the attitude of a particular individual in a given situation. I am trying to find a balance between what reflects a general context and what is revealed of the individual sphere.” 2
Rineke Dijkstra’s films behave like a mirror; we see how the young people position themselves in front of her lens, then through one false movement their guard is let down and their real personas are brought into sharp relief and reflected back at us.
Rineke Dijkstra, born in 1959 (Sittard, The Netherlands), lives in Amsterdam. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her photographic work have appeared in numerous international exhibitions and biennials such as the 1997 and 2001 Venice Biennial, the 1998 Sao Paulo Biennial or the 2003 International Center for Photography’s Triennial of Photography and Video in New York. A retrospective exhibition of her work has been organized in 2013 by the Guggenheim Museum, New York and the SF-MoMA, San Francisco. In France, le Jeu de Paume presented a solo show in 2007, which travelled also to Fotomuseum Winterthur and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She is the recipient of several international awards including the Kodak Award Nederland (1987), the Art Encouragement Award Amstelveen (1993) and the Macallan Royal Photography Prize (2012). Currently her work The Krazyhouse (Megan, Simon, Nicky, Philip, Dee), Liverpool, UK (2009) is exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao until the 1st of March 2015.
1 Hans Den Hartog Jager in Manifesta 10, St Petersburg Ermitage, Kasper König, 2014
2 Rineke Dijkstra, excerpt from an interview with Jean-Pierre Krief for the series “Contacts”, 2003
Opening Tuesday, January 13, 2015 6 PM → 8 PM