Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This spring, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design presents Rineke Dikstra: The Krazyhouse, a spectacular four-channel video installation and a series of large-format photographs. The exhibition will remain on view throughJune 15, 2014
Created in 2009 at a popular dance club in Liverpool, Dijkstra’s video installation The Krazyhouse (Megan, Simon, Nicky, Philip, Dee), Liverpool, UK, presents in sequence a group of five young people in their teens and early twenties dancing and sometimes lip-syncing along to popular tunes they selected themselves. Dijkstra met her subjects at the club and invited them to dance in a white box studio she had built on one of the dance floors. They perform for Dijkstra’s camera while a DJ plays live mixes of their selections and friends watch. The Krazyhouse is a recent acquisition to the Corcoran’s renowned collection of photography and new media.
In these video portraits, a simple white background allows viewers to focus on the self-presentation, insecurity, uniqueness, and beauty of each of the five young participants. Dijkstra describes selecting her subjects as “…a process of looking, searching, it’s almost completely intuitive. I look for people who intrigue me, who have something that makes them special.” In the gallery, these portraits shift from wall to wall, one after another, around a dark room filled with bass-thumping beats that mimic the sensation of being in the actual club. Also included in the exhibition are four still portraits of young people at The Krazyhouse, which depict a quieter and more formal, self-assured side of the Liverpool club scene.
One of the most important photographers working today, Dijkstra’s style produces an uncomfortable, almost confrontational realism rather than a snapshot aesthetic. Though she is primarily known as a portrait photographer, Dijkstra’s influential 1994 video debut, The Buzz Club, led her to create The Krazyhouse and several other multi-channel video installations that capture moving portraits of individuals exploring and establishing their identity.
“In The Krazyhouse, the selection of music, type of dance and mimicry, and the choice of dress all come together to create a social spectrum that speaks to the time and spirit of its location,” said Corcoran chief curator and head of research Philip Brookman. “While the kids’ selections of music and dance are diverse, each person seems both self-conscious and lost in the moment, looking for some way to transcend their daily lives and make an impression for others. As viewers of the dance club rituals, we become voyeurs of both intimate and public expressions, and our experience of the music is like being present in The Krazyhouse. We move with these portraits as they shift around the room, an effect that invites interaction with the video and participation in the dances. I am thrilled to bring this important work of new media art into the Corcoran’s collection.”
Rineke Dijkstra was born in 1959 in Sittard, the Netherlands, and studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Through the late 1980s, she photographed people in clubs for Dutch magazines and worked for corporations making portraits. In 1990, during her rehabilitation following a bicycle accident, Dijkstra produced a self-portrait emerging from a swimming pool. This image, depicting her exhaustion and vulnerability, sparked a new direction in her work. Soon after, a newspaper commission to photograph the idea of summertime led to her breakthrough Beaches Series (1992–96), which featured adolescent subjects in different seaside locations in the United States and Europe. From that point on, the concept of people in transitional moments shaped her work; she has photographed mothers in the moments after giving birth (1994), refugees (1994–2008), and new inductees into the Israeli army (2002–03).
Major solo exhibitions of Dijkstra’s work have been shown at the Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (2013), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2012), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012), the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2005), and the Art Institute of Chicago (2001). Her photographs have appeared in many international exhibitions, including the 1997 and 2001 Venice Biennale, the 1998 Bienal de Sao Paulo, Turin's Biennale Internationale di Fotografia in 1999 and the 2003 International Center for Photography's Triennial of Photography and Video in New York. She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Kodak Award Nederland (1987), the Art Encouragement Award Amstelveen (1993), the Werner Mantz Award (1994), the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize (1998), and the Macallan Royal Photography Prize (2012). Dijkstra’s work is represented in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Guggenheim Museum; the Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; Tate, London, and the Stedejlijk Museum, Amsterdam, She lives and works in Amsterdam.
For more information, visit
A recent acquisition for the Corcoran, The Krazyhouse is a museum purchase with funds from the Charlotte and Jacob Lehrman Art Acquisition Endowment and the Firestone Contemporary Art Fund.
View the press release online.
Established in 1869, the Corcoran Gallery of Art was one of America’s first museums of art, dedicated, in the words of founder William Wilson Corcoran, to “encouraging American genius.” Today it is Washington, D.C.’s largest nonfederal art museum, known internationally for its distinguished collection of historical and modern American art, European art, contemporary art, photography and media arts, and decorative arts. A dynamic schedule of special exhibitions complements a range of educational programming, which together enrich the perspectives of the visiting public, support the local arts community, and encourage thoughtful interpretation of today’s most compelling social issues.The Corcoran College of Art + Design was founded as a school of art in 1890 and stands as Washington’s only four-year accredited college of art and design. The College is one of the few in the nation whose educational model includes an integral relationship with a museum, fostering the talent of the next generation of artists. For more information about the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Designvisit
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
The Corcoran is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Wednesday through Sunday: $10 Adults; $8 full-time students (with ID) and seniors (62+); active-duty military and children under 12 free; Corcoran members free.


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