The Museum of Contemporary Photography presents The Ballad of Sexual Dependency by the American photographer Nan Goldin (Washington, 1953), curated by François Hébel. First exhibited in 1986 at the Festival of Arles and recently revived at MoMA in New York in early 2017, the opus comes to Italy for the first time at the Triennale di Milano, from 19 September to 26 November 2017.
Ballad is the most famous and successful work by Nan Goldin (b. Washington DC, 1953): a work in progress begun in the early ‘80s and then continually expanded and updated, which today is recognized as one of the masterpieces of the history of photography.
It is an immersive work consisting of around 700 color images in a filmic sequence that lasts approximately 42 minutes and is accompanied by a soundtrack that ranges from punk to opera. A visual diary, at once autobiographical and universal, intimate and communal, about the fragility of human beings and the constant tension between individuality and the need to relate to others. A sequence of images that deals with life, sex, transgression, drugs, friendship and solitude.
Nan Goldin’s gaze embraces every moment of her daily life and experience. The artist photographs herself and the troubled lives of her cohorts in downtown Boston and New York in the ’70s and’ 80s. Her photography is instinctive, unconcerned with the beauty of form, which pushes beyond appearances towards the deep intensity of real situations, without any mediation. In a total fusion of artistic evolution and her own painful yet fascinating life story, Nan Goldin created a genre unto itself: studied, utilized and imitated throughout the world, her images are a model that remains intact today.
Also straddling the line between real life and artistic enquiry is the public persona of Nan Goldin, among the undisputed stars of international photography. Her visual language has conquered both the world of art and that of fashion, such that her images appear on the covers of major magazines and in the ad campaigns of the biggest brands of clothing, fragrances and accessories.
The installation consists of an amphitheater in which the audience can view the work and a video that is projected once per hour, preceded by an introduction and followed by an exhibition of printed materials and original posters from Goldin’s earliest performances in the pubs of New York City.
The Milan show will be accompanied during the month of November by an exclusive concert by the Tiger Lillies at the Teatro dell’Arte. In addition to their own musical repertoire, the British trio will do a live performance of the soundtrack of Ballad.
Projections starts at
10.40, 11.25, 12.10, 12.55,
13.40, 14.25, 15.10, 15.55,
16.40, 17.25, 18.10, 18.55,
Nan Goldin. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Curated by François Hébel
19 September– 26 November 2017
La Triennale di Milano
Tuesday – Sunday, 10.30 am – 8.30 pm
© Nan Goldin, Trixie on the cot, New York City 1979
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