Nan Goldin Debuts New Work in "Memory Lost" @ Marian Goodman Gallery
Late last month Nan Goldin opened a new exhibition, Memory Lost, at Marian Goodman Gallery. Her first solo presentation in New York in five years, the major exhibition presents an important range of historical works together with two new video pieces and the debut of two new series of photographs.
Memory Lost (2019–2021), an important, new digital slideshow, recounts a life lived through a lens of drug addiction. This captivating, beautiful and haunting journey unfolds through an assemblage of intimate and personal imagery to offer a poignant reflection on memory and the darkness of addiction. It is one of the most moving, personal and arresting works of Goldin’s career to date. It is accompanied by an emotionally charged new score commissioned from composer and instrumentalist Mica Levi, with additional music by CJ Calderwood and Soundwalk Collective. Documenting a life at once familiar and reframed, newly discovered archival images are edited to portray memory as lived and witnessed experience, altered and lost through drug addiction. A group of stills from Memory Lost, presented here as dye sublimation prints on aluminum for the first time in Goldin’s career, gathers work from a period when the outcome of a photograph was unpredictable. Technical mistakes allowed for magic; random psychological subtexts that could not have been created intentionally could make the subconscious visible.
In conjunction with Memory Lost, another new video work, Sirens (2019–2020), will be presented in the North Gallery. This is the first work by Goldin made entirely from found footage––scenes from thirty of her favorite films––and is accompanied by a new score by Mica Levi. Echoing the enchanting call of the Sirens from Greek mythology, who lured sailors to their untimely deaths on rocky shores, this hypnotic work entrances the viewer into the sensuality and ecstasy of being high.
In an adjacent space, a new series of pictures taken entirely from her home during quarantine (2020–2021) marks a return to Goldin’s best-known work. The subject of these portraits, writer Thora Siemsen, inspired Goldin to pick up her camera and document her personal life again. During the paradigm shift between what we’ve known and a new reality still unknown, Goldin has made a timeless portrait of her friend and of her home. Amidst the terrors and limitations of the global pandemic, Goldin arrives at a place where time is crystallized by presence, stillness, and intimacy.
For more information, visit Marian Goodman Gallery.