Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Art Institute Acquires Sexually Dependency from Nan Golden

In a press release Monday, The Art Institute of Chicago announced that the notorious Ballad of Sexual Dependency by photographer Nan Golden was acquired through a joint purchase of the Photography and Contemporary departments. The slideshow piece created from 1981 - 1987 but also dated 1979-2001 was made in an edition of 10, with AIC acquiring #7. The other two museums which own it are MoMA and the Whitney, making Chicago the only non-Manhattan site to view it. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is currently on view as part of the Art Institute’s current photo exhibition titled So The Story Goes.

Nan Goldin • Heart-shaped bruise, NYC, 1980 • color slide • From The Ballad of Sexual Dependency SOURCE: Artforum.com

The Ballad... is perhaps one of the most challenging and emotionally raw works of art I have ever scene. In addition to being a slide show, it has been published as a book, which is how I have viewed it. It details Nan’s personal life in a way that art happens. It does not set out to exploit or ride the waves of shock. The series merely captures what was happening in her life. A time that has since been romanticized and demonized in equal portions: the 80s East Village scene in New York. Sex, Drugs and New Wave. While someone like Cindy Sherman stages her grotesqueries and supplies artificial beauty and horror, Golden has found real beauty in real horror.

The Ballad... details the pitfalls of humanity, all essentially brought about by the most horrible addiction of all: our need of other people. Golden’s work frankly depicts the rejected, forgotten underbelly of society, just by being there and bearing witness. The abused, the addicted, the sexually different, the sick, the dying and the dead are all hear. But not for pity or for expose, for honor. These were the people she knew and loved. Perhaps summing it up best is her quote, "I used to think I couldn't lose anyone if I photographed them enough...In fact, they show me how much I've lost."

Check Out >> So The Story Goes


Anonymous said...

here/hear...seen/scene...i guess spell-checks only go so far

Anonymous said...

Poor anonymous, nit-picking will only keep you stagnating...