Kenyon College

Ya’ara, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, Dec. 9, 2002


Rineke Dijkstra
Dutch, b. 1959

Ya’ara, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, Dec. 9, 2002, 2003
49 5/8 x 42 1/8 inches

Promised gift of David Horvitz ‘74 and Francie Bishop Good

Dijkstra employs a straightforward formality and traditional simplicity to capture her sitters in a way that feels objective and authentic. In Ya’ara, North Court Base the subject, Ya’ara, appears on a plain white background and gazes out of the frame at a three-quarter angle. Her face is devoid of strong emotion, yet her rigid and direct gaze, as well as her very slight smile, indicate a level of confidence and self-assured secrecy. This work belongs to a series in which Dijkstra photographed the same subject twice, once in civilian clothes upon the day of their enlisting into the Israeli Army, and again some months later in uniform. This series, as well as Dijkstra’s body of portraiture as a whole, force the viewer to ask what can be gleaned about a person just from looking at their photographed image. How do commonly overlooked aspects of visual appearance such as body positioning, facial expression, and personal adornment express something deeper, something closer to the truth about a person?

Phoebe Botticelli Pohl ‘18

Blessing, Jennifer. “Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective.” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Marcoci, Roxana. “What’s in a portrait? Rineke Dijkstra’s Almerisa.” Inside/Out: A MoMA/MoMA PS1 Blog, January 14th, 2010.

Smith, Roberta. “What’s Hiding in Plain Sight: Rineke Dijkstra at the Guggenheim Museum.” The New York Times, July 5th, 2012.



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