Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

21.06.2016 | Art | BY:

Nan Goldin’s ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ will show at MoMA until the 12th February 2017, giving you ample time to bask in her deeply personal, evocative collection of photographs.

Drawing on her own experiences in Boston, New York and Berlin – mostly during the late 1970s and 1980s – Goldin describes her body of work as ‘The diary I let people read.’ ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ is comprised of almost 700 photographs and is set against a powerful musical soundtrack, capturing her subjects in raw moments of love and loss, and documenting both herself and her friends as they suffer from drug use, domestic violence and the effects of AIDS.

The collection is aptly named after a song in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’ and features music from many of Goldin’s friends, including Maria Callas and members of The Velvet Underground. The photographs are presented in their original 35mm format, as they were when they were first shown in the bars and clubs of New York City in the 1980s. Since then, Goldin has continued her narrative and added photographs to the collection, but they are still produced as slides, as they were when Goldin had no access to a dark room and was unable to afford to have her photographs made into prints.

‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ is also available in the form of a book, which was reissued in 2012, recognising the persistent relevance of Goldin’s subject matter. The book can be bought online, or is available at MoMA.

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