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. 
 A photo is always a kind of lie. Truth is only present for a matter of a fraction of a second. 
 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. 
 I don’t need to know anything about the people I photograph, but it’s important that I recognize something about myself in them. 
 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. 
 It’s like Diane Arbus said, you are looking for the “gap between intention and effect.” People think that they present themselves one way, but they cannot help but show something else as well. It’s impossible to have everything under control. 
 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. 
 I am looking for a kind of purity, something essential from human beings... I believe in a sort of magic. 
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