Monday, August 2, 2010

Nan Goldin at Heide

Heide's current exhibition Up close: Carol Jerrems with Larry Clark, Nan Goldin and William Yang argues that photography offers a means to engage with and give a picture to "subculture". In this way, the exhibition signposts the political and ethnographic preoccupations of certain photographers of the 1960s-80s.

Aside from the excellent survey of Jerrem's work, the exhibition provides a great opportunity to see Goldin's keystone work The ballad of sexual dependency. Goldin first began showing this slide show with soundtrack to friends - invariably the subject of the photographs - at venues around New York City in the late 1970s. At Heide, it is seen in extended and somewhat updated form. The slide show runs for over an hour and has to be viewed in full. Even if not you're enamoured with Goldin's refusal of technical virtuosity, it's impossible not to be affected by the work's melancholia and intimacy.

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