Urgent Museum Notice

Evgenya, Induction-Centre Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 6, 2002; (2) Evgenya, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, December 9, 2002

Close up of Evgenya, Induction-Centre Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 6, 2002; (2) Evgenya, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, December 9, 2002

Paired photographic portraits capture a young, light-skinned woman at different life moments. At left, she wears a black sweater and gazes out shyly from beneath her dark bangs. At right, clad in an olive drab, military shirt, she makes eye contact with viewers more confidently.

Rineke Dijkstra, Evgenya, Induction-Centre Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 6, 2002 (left), Evgenya, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, December 9, 2002 (right), Printed 2003; Editioned May 17, 2004; Chromogenic color print, 49 1/4 x 41 3/8 x 2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Heather and Tony Podesta Collection

Evgenya, Induction-Centre Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 6, 2002; (2) Evgenya, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, December 9, 2002
Rineke Dijkstra

These two images of Evgenya are part of Rineke Dijkstra’s photographic series featuring members of the Israeli army. Since all men and women are required to serve for two years beginning at age 18, the military plays a prominent role in Israel’s culture.

As with other soldiers portrayed in the series, Evgenya appears at the time of her induction into the army and then again several months later. The differences in hairstyle, pose, facial expression, and clothing, together with Dijkstra’s detailed titles, provide a specific context for the images. Such details encourage viewers to imagine narratives for the portraits. Yet the overall neutrality of Dijkstra’s compositions deflect any effort to assign meaning to the works.

Dijkstra creates photographic series of people in related settings (or the same person over time) to highlight physical and emotional similarities, as well as marked differences. Unlike many post-modern photographers who adopt a directorial approach to photography, she attempts to make her subjects less conscious of the camera. Each shot made with her large-format camera takes a long time to set up, which discourages her subjects from holding a pose or particular facial expression.

Although formal in composition, with figures positioned frontally against neutral backgrounds, Dijkstra’s portraits communicate an emotional intensity as the artist and subject have focused upon each other intently for long periods of time during the shoot.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Rineke Dijkstra
  • Title

    Evgenya, Induction-Centre Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 6, 2002; (2) Evgenya, North Court Base Pikud Tzafon, Israel, December 9, 2002
  • Date

    Printed 2003; Editioned May 17, 2004
  • Medium

    Chromogenic color print
  • Dimensions

    49 1/4 x 41 3/8 in. each
  • Donor Credit

    Gift of Heather and Tony Podesta Collection
  • On Display

    No