Dijkstra has explored this transition in other contexts, too. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, she became fascinated with with teenage girls who frequented The Buzz Club and The Krazyhouse, two nightclubs in Liverpool, England. There, they danced ecstatically with friends and made out passionately with boys. Dijkstra wanted to capture the energy and elation they felt, so she built a studio inside the nightclub and began inviting clubgoers in to take their portraits.
In images like The Buzz Club Liverpool England 4 March 1995, Dijkstra shows young women against white backgrounds. They are often sweaty, pouting, and dressed in revealing outfits. Videos taken in the same clubs capture girls losing themselves to the music, transforming from nervously self-conscious to wildly unconstrained and confident.
These images (and all of Dijkstra’s work) reveal not only the overarching awkwardness, confusion, and thrill of a coming-of-age transformation, but also the emotional state of each individual. “Before our eyes, and quite unselfconsciously, we see subjects constructing themselves—revealing themselves in their very process of self-construction,” writes art historian Thérèse St-Gelais in Parachute magazine.