* 1959 Sittard
The Dutch photographer and video-artist Rineke Dijkstra was born in Sittard in 1959. After studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam Rineke Dijkstra first began working as a free-lance photographer for journals like Elle, Avenue and Elegance. At that time she portrayed scholarship-owners and winners if several art-awards by order of art funds. Since the beginning of the 1990s Dijkstra worked with a large format camera and concentrated on portrait-series in colour. The photographer's first independent series - her famous beach portraits 'Beaches' - came into existence between 1992 and 1996. The numerous work consists of body-photos of children and adolescents, who were photographed by Rineke Dijkstra in their bathing attire at the beaches in Europe and the eastern coast of the USA in front of the ocean as a simple but highly symbolical background. In 1994 a series of large format portraits of bullfighters and a series of three women, who were being photographed by Dijkstra soon after giving birth with their babies on their arms, followed. Her strictly conceptual approach follows a tradition which reaches from August Sander and Diane Arbus until today. Her works go beyond documentational photography and record moments, in which the portrayed are exposed to changing processes caused by developmental or extreme physical or psychological experiences. Since the mid-1990s Dijkstra also uses the camcorder and transfers her artistic aim to this new media. Young disco-visitors, which are portrayed in their behaviour patterns and poses, are in the centre of the videos 'The Buzzclub', 'Liverpool', 'UK/Mysteryworld', 'Zaandam'. 'NL' (1996/97) and 'Annemiek' (1999). Rineke Dijkstra received international approval with her invitation to the Biennale in Venice in 1997. Her works can be seen a.o. at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, at the Folkwang Museum in Essen and and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.