Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency by Nan Goldin
First published in 1986, Nan Goldin's The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is a visual diary chronicling the struggles for intimacy and understanding among the friends and lovers whom Goldin describes as her "tribe." These photographs described a lifestyle that was visceral, charged and seething with a raw appetite for living, and the book soon became the swan song for an era that reached its peak in the early 1980s. Twenty-five years later, Goldin's lush color photography and candid style still demand that the viewer encounter their profound intensity head-on. As she writes: "Real memory, which these pictures trigger, is an invocation of the color, smell, sound and physical presence, the density and flavor of life." Through an accurate and detailed record of Goldin's life, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency records a personal odyssey as well as a more universal understanding of the different languages men and women speak. The book's influence on photography and other aesthetic realms has continued to grow, making it a classic of contemporary photography. This anniversary edition features all-new image separations produced using state-of-the-art technologies and specially prepared reproduction files, which offer a lush, immersive experience of this touchstone monograph.
Nan Goldin began photographing at the age of fifteen. She received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1977. In 1978 she moved to New York, where she continued to document her “extended family.” These photographs, along with those taken in London, Berlin, and Provincetown, Massachusetts, became the subject of her slide shows and first book, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1986). Goldin’s other books include The Other Side (1993), Ten Years After (1997), and The Beautiful Smile (2008). In 1985 her work was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s biennial. A decade later, in 1996, a major retrospective of her work opened at the Whitney, and toured to museums throughout Europe. That same year a documentary about her life and work, I’ll Be Your Mirror, made in collaboration with Edmund Coulthard, was awarded a Teddy Award for Best Essay at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2001 a second retrospective of her work, Le Feu Follet, was held at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and toured internationally as The Devil’s Playground. In 2006, Goldin was awarded the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. And, in 2007, she received the Hasselblad Award in Photography. Goldin’s most recent slide show, Scopophilia, was commissioned by the Louvre and shown there in 2010. Goldin lives in Berlin, Paris, and New York.