Rineke Dijkstra
[Photographer, b. 1959, Sittard, The Netherlands, lives in Amsterdam.]

 I felt that the beach portraits were all self-portraits. That moment of unease, that attempt to find a pose, it was all about me. 
 For me, the importance of photography is that you can point to something, that you can let other people see things. Ultimately, it is a matter of the specialness of the ordinary. 
 A photo is always a kind of lie. Truth is only present for a matter of a fraction of a second. 
 For me it is essential to understand that everyone is alone. Not in the sense of loneliness, but rather in the sense that no one can completely understand someone else. I know very well what Diane Arbus means when she says that one cannot crawl into someone else’s skin, but there is always an urge to do so anyway. I want to awaken definite sympathies for the person I have photographed. 
 I don’t need to know anything about the people I photograph, but it’s important that I recognize something about myself in them. 
 I do think that my work has gotten calmer, and that the violence of some of the earlier series was necessary to reach the higher degree of concentration in the later ones. 
 I am interested in the paradox between identity and uniformity, in the power and vulnerability of each individual and each group. It is in this paradox that I try to visualize by concentrating on poses, attitudes, gestures, and gazes. 
 As a photographer you enlarge or emphasize a certain moment, making it another reality. 
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