Nan Goldin is one of the most important photographers working today. Adopting the direct aesthetic of the photographic snapshot, she has been documenting her own life and that of her friends for over 30 years.
On display in the left-hand room is a series of rare black and white photographs from the early 1970s. Taken in Boston between 1972 and 1974, Nan Goldin offers an intimate observation of the world of drag queens and homosexuals. Photographing her entourage, she began the autobiographical work for which she is now renowned. The essence of her work can already be found in this series, which shows in an offbeat way what society considers to be marginalized.
Photographing friends, drug addicts, and outcasts from the Boston and New York nightlife, Nan Goldin leaves behind a relentless
autobiographical trail that alternates between moments of distress and moments of grace. All this observation of human vulnerability makes her work essential.
Nan Goldin works on the representation of her loved ones in solitude, distress, fun, getting high, and everyday gestures. She developed a narrative work that had a huge impact with the presentation of her slide show The Ballad of sexual dependency, composed of over seven hundred images in the 1980s. Like any body of work that examines reality in its marginal and "unclean" aspects, this series, of which three photographs can be seen in the exhibition: a self-portrait entitled Me on top of my
lover, Suzanne in yellow hotel room and Brian in hotel room, Mexico, can be disturbing. Through the description of her reality, Nan Goldin puts her eye on the questions of limits and distress, of normality and marginality, of self-destruction as a potential way out, of emotional misery,...
The second room contains colour photographs spread over a longer period. Although the secrecy of intimate life is often exposed in Goldin's work, the works presented here evoke love, tenderness and fragility and thus counterbalance the despair of other works. The shots of people lying down, sleeping, dreaming, making love emphasise the bed as a place of life.