Rineke Dijkstra's Kids Kid You Not

At Marian Goodman Gallery, the Dutch artist aims her lens on the faces and ways of youth

A Clearasil blonde sways shyly while throwing shapes in the air; a pale goth head-bangs his way through a death-metal number; a leggy black girl blossoms radiantly to the rhythms of a pop tune; a raver throws his jumpy limbs in multiple directions at once; some father's daughter in a minidress jiggles baby fat while sporting a come-hither look. These are the significant pleasures to be derived from watching Dijkstra's isolations of teenage self-construction. Their images speak to us less of the privileges of youth than of its endlessly ramifying limitations.

Brit cubist in the making? From Ruth Drawing Picasso, Tate Liverpool, 2009
Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris
Brit cubist in the making? From Ruth Drawing Picasso, Tate Liverpool, 2009

"Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies," wrote Edna St. Vincent Millay, by which she meant, simply, that innocence gets it in the end. (Thank you, doubt, insecurity, gravity, and age!) This is Dijkstra's subject matter, too. To experience the Dutch artist's photos and videos is to witness, firsthand, the enduring paradox that is the emergence of the teener Self.

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