Nan Goldin is well known for producing searing portraits and her work often breaks social taboos with its explicit exploration of relationships, sexuality and eroticism. Using her own typical presentation format, a group of four slideshows of her work - entitled: Poste Restante - will be on show and accompanied by music chosen by Goldin, at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, from this Saturday (2nd October).
Goldin has used her camera to document her life, and that of her immediate circle, since the 60s. One of her first subjects was her best friend and drag queen, David Armstrong. Goldin has recorded the tumultuous personal lives of those around her, as they experienced the highs and lows of intimate relationships, the devastating effects of AIDS and explored drugs and bisexuality.
Goldin became well known for her photography work more so after the 1986 publication of her book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Most of the subjects photographed (for what was initially a slideshow of the same name) had died by the 1990s due to drug abuse or contracting AIDS (including close friend and lover Cookie Mueller).
As the (above) arresting image of a battered Goldin illustrates, her photographs are stark and honest (her long term partner Brian attacked her and left her looking like this - bruised and nearly blinded). Goldin succeeds in creating narratives that cut right across categorisation and, being heavily influenced by the medium of film, it's appropriate that her work at this exhibition is displayed in this slideshow format.
Goldin describes her work as a record of the condition of ‘being human’ and ‘how difficult it is to survive life’. In exploring and questioning her work, we cannot help questioning ourselves and what aspects of ourselves we recognise in her.