In a world where images not only abound but tire one’s eyes, when a single picture shakes you out of your visual numbness, it is worth careful appreciation.
Rineke Dijkstra‘s photographs have such an impact.
I was walking around the MoMA in NYC and suddenly I felt I was forced to stop to look at one of the Dutch photographer’s images.
A Venus-like teen
While I continue my readings of Marina Castañeda‘s book on (homo)sexuality I have been constantly drawn to make considerations on adolescence.
Nowadays there seems to be a certain glorification of a stage of life that is undoubtedly very, very hard.
Dijkstra seems to be able to capture this longing for identity and awkwardness of the body like a mirror for these teens’ souls.
By showing teenagers in such respectful vulnerability, her series entitled Puberty raise questions on the true importance we give to this phase of life.
Should so much significance be put on people who barely know what is meaningful to them?
I am not so sure.
I was reading excerpts of a book written by Mexican psychotherapist Marina Castañeda on homosexuality a while ago and I couldn’t help but find it very insightful. Although I do not necessarily agree with her in some of the aspects she mentions, I did find one bit very interesting.
She claims that in the process of coming out every homosexual has to go through a mourning phase if they want to be happy as gay individuals later in life. That is, they have to mourn their supposed heterosexuality.
Growing up in societies which are governed by two-gender conceptions of living, including family and work-related assumptions, homosexuals have to learn how to let go of these ideas so deeply rooted in their consciousness in order to be able to accept the fact that they are unlike most others.
According to the author, it is the very process of learning how to give up such expectations which allows gay people to be more or less happy with their affections and sexuality with regards to society. Some do it and are able to find their place in the world, while others seem never to be willing to establish themselves as different from what is expected of them, and that is the major source of feelings of distress and unadaptability.
What a very interesting way of seeing these matters.
I’ve believed for some time now that being different is the key to creating. Once there is nothing to compare yourself to, you are forced to generate new models and just find a whole new path for yourself. And isn’t that what guides true artists and explorers into the unknown?
The thing is, this is by no means an easy task.