The Devil's Playground

The Devil's Playground

by Nan Goldin
     
 

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THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is the most significant book published to date on Nan Goldin (b. 1953), one of the most prominent and influential contemporary photographers. It contains Goldin's latest works alongside earlier classics, including images from new series such as ELEMENTS, 57 DAYS, STILL ON EARTH, and FROM HERE TO MATERNITY, many of which are published here for…  See more details below

Overview

THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is the most significant book published to date on Nan Goldin (b. 1953), one of the most prominent and influential contemporary photographers. It contains Goldin's latest works alongside earlier classics, including images from new series such as ELEMENTS, 57 DAYS, STILL ON EARTH, and FROM HERE TO MATERNITY, many of which are published here for the first time. This book is an intimate and compelling photographic portrait, telling personal stories of relationships and identity while chronicling different eras and the passage of time. Goldin's photographic sequences are interspersed with texts, poems, and lyrics by prominent writers.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Geographically the Devil's Playground may be a desolate spot near Death Valley, but here it's a metaphor, and one that seemingly is less about idle minds than idle bodies. Goldin has photographed her repertory cast of international jet-set characters making love, caring for babies and visiting her in well-appointed hotel rooms, but the crux of the book is contained in two series of pictures devoted to the photographer's hospital stays -- necessitated by detox treatments for drug use in 2000 and 2002. This is all territory that Goldin has roamed before (even the detox route, sadly), but in ''Playground'' she assembles the chapters of her visual narrative with a sophistication that has not been part of her work since the original, performance-based version of the ''Ballad.'' — Andy Grundberg
Publishers Weekly
Dating mostly from 2000 to 2002, this latest collection of photos from '80s star Goldin broadens her exploration of intimacy to take in first loves and births, along with the usual chronicling of accidents and illnesses, drug addiction and recovery, age and loss among friends and family. Throughout this nearly 12" x 9" collection, the body is always primary, and often unabashedly fleshy. The ease with which Goldin captures her friends and relatives showering, relaxing on a bed, or in the midst of lovemaking is impressive, establishing both the reality of the moment while simultaneously bathing her subjects in her loving, third-party glow. Texts include pieces by Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave, along with New York downtowners John Giorno and the late Cookie Mueller. While Goldin's work is often compared to Diane Arbus's, in that both photographed the so-called "marginal" members of society, rather than using the lens as a distancing, voyeuristic tool, Goldin equalizes viewer and viewed. Through the lens of familiarity, the photo becomes less an exploitation than a connection. Homosexual, transvestite, straight, scarred, tattooed or simply uniquely shaped, everyone has relations-and Goldin does not exempt herself, as two sections in the book follow her struggle against heroin addition. While the 460 shots here are printed in gorgeous color, many of the photos are unfortunately situated across a two-page spread, with the central human figure often disappearing or elided into the gutter, at odds with the overall intention of the collection. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780714847580
Publisher:
Phaidon Press
Publication date:
11/19/2007
Pages:
504
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.90(h) x 1.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

NICK CAVE is a writer and lyricist; he is the lead member of the band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. GUIDO COSTA curates exhibitions worldwide and his writing on art and photography has been widely published. He has worked closely with Goldin for many years. ENRIQUE JUNCOSA is Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. CATHERINE LAMPERT was Director of London's Whitechapel Gallery; and now works as a freelance writer and curator. SHARON OLDS is an American poet; her published poems include the collection BLOOD, TIN STRAW (1999). RICHARD PRICE is a renowned author; his books include CLOCKERS and SAMARITAN.

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