Nan Goldin Essays

Nan Goldin Essays-84
Even if the answer were technically no, it would not render her accomplishment any less legitimate.Because the continuing resonance of is cumulative; it has much more to do with the way Goldin constructs a type of filmic fiction from her life (she has often referred to the pictures as stills from a nonexistent film) and in the way she is able — through style, editing, framing, color, (noticeably corrected in the new edition) — to make scenes that are sometimes indefinable, scenes that sometimes show the deep internalization and playing out, as well as countering, of gender archetypes by herself and her subjects, that often depict intense emotional pain, or unglamorous sex.She has always presented her work as a direct reflection of her circumstance, an adjunct to her memory (or, at times when she was too inebriated to remember anything, as a memory itself), a way to puncture the familial denial of her upbringing and breach silence on topics like drug use, physical abuse, sexuality and later, AIDS.

Even if the answer were technically no, it would not render her accomplishment any less legitimate.

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I believe only in the accumulation of portraits as a representation of a person.” This is extremely effective in her depiction of Burchill.

For the most part, he is the ultimate cad — with a cigarette consistently dangling from his mouth, he is most often shown looking away from her (as in the highly cinematic, twilight opus — which graces the book’s cover).

Burchill: a drug addict and file clerk and later actor (he appears briefly in Jim Jarmusch’s , and from this opening scene of togetherness, it will twist and bow, ultimately breaking at a centerpiece photograph of her from 1984, staring into the camera again after she has been beaten by him, both her eyes blackened and the right filled with blood.

Goldin speaks of her portrait process as one of accretion, saying once in an interview: “I don’t believe in the single portrait.

So this eliminates the larger reason for having done this book — not for me, but if nobody believes it as having happened …what is the point?

The belief that a photograph can be True has become obsolete.

In Berlin, under an unflattering dusty light that exposes every crease in his brow, his rough face is set into a sullen look of guilty confrontation.

In New York, he leans over his birthday cake, blowing out the candles like a child.

More and more, in an art setting, photography is used as a process to create abstract or self-consciously composed imagery, often as a component of a larger conceptual frame; it tends to present reality through metaphor, or by way of a signifier, rather than by straight documentation of subjects’ lives.

So, yes, it may be fair to say that people no longer believe that a photograph in a gallery or museum or art book is true, precisely because they are no longer being asked to do so.

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