Nan Goldin has a special place in my heart. I got to know her work when I in 2004 studied in London at Middlesex University. Tucked away in the library corner I sat for hours gazing at the intimate, intense and vibrantly colorful night-portrayls of her life and loved ones. I was in awe of how no tragedy or personal failure was too private for her to share. The way in which she seems to stand by her every choice in life, the brutal honesty in documenting how she’s been abused, been hurt and humilated, but also celebrated life with every fiber in her body. And experienced love, equally as uncompromising, as she has felt loss. To me she embodies integrety in her own completely anarchistic way. I had absolutely no money at the time, and was inches from stealing the book. But the better half in me kindly reminded, that if I did that, then someone else wouldn’t have the same mindblowing experience. So I coughed up some pennies, took a couple of photocopies, went home and hung them in my room.
When I saw CPH:DOX13 had the documentary ‚Nan Goldin – I Remember Your Face‘ on the program, needless to say I was very excited. And even if the documentary is a fairly small story, it’s a straight up pleasure to walk down memory lane with Nan Goldin and all her old flames (she only falls in love with gay men), in Paris and Berlin where she also lived for a long time. It always surprises me, how a patron of the night like her, whom surely has done as much drugs as Ozzy Osborne, still can capture riddles of life and make observations that are so spot on.
Whether the documentary will hit a broader distribution and many theaters I kind of doubt. But fortunately because Nan Goldin is a succesful, contemporary artist, I think a lot of museums will have it on DVD. And also the tv-culture channels around the world hopefully will broadcast it eventually.
Here is the trailer:
Older photos taken by Nan Goldin
Mini bio: Nancy „Nan“ Goldin, was born 1953 in Washington D.C., and grew up in Boston Massachusetts to middle class Jewish parents. In 1965, Nan’s older sister Barbara Holly committed suicide 18 years old. The loss of her sister had a tremendous effect on Nan and later the course of her work. In the late 70’s she moved to NYC and started photographing the Bowery’s hard-drug subculture and gay/drag scene.