Nan Goldin's Ode to Youth, Both Lived and Lost.

Hasabie Kidanu
May 29, 2014 2:57AM

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, (1976-96), a photograph compilation of 700 some slides by American photographer Nan Goldin at the Whitney Museum’s series of I, YOU, WE exhibition, resurfaces the artist’s most heartfelt autobiography and tribute to youth and life – both lived and lost. Goldin’s enduring interest in the subculture and marginalized gay and transsexual clusters of New York City during 1970s and 1980s, results in a collection of the most candid, confessional, diary-like documentation of her most treasured companions and photographic muses – her friends and extended family. With AIDS eating its way through the city’s communities, the camera not only becomes her memory preservation device, but also, her only archival defense against lives that were disappearing. Each slide becomes a brief commemoration, in collection narrating the tale of a fiercely bohemian and young tragic bunch - weddings, AIDS, sex, heroin, and picnics all wrap into one roll. With every click, the artist thins the lines between life and death, intimacy and violence, and joy and tragedy. With her one of a kind exposure of ‘what once was’ and ‘who once lived,’ the camera marks her images as an incredibly nostalgic tribute to the tenderness of life.


Hasabie Kidanu
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