NAN GOLDIN: Scopophilia

Exhibition Dates: October 29, 2011 – December 23, 2011
Location: Matthew Marks Gallery
523 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011

Words: Aimstar
Images: © Nan Goldin, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Slideshow queen Nan Goldin sets moments from her life juxtaposed to classic imagery and sculpture in her first New York exhibition since 2007, Scopophilia, at the Matthew Marks Gallery. Throughout the telling, 25-minute installation, a project that was commissioned by the Louvre museum in Paris just last year and which features over 400 photographs from Goldin’s personal collection, one is left asking, “Does life truly imitate art (or vice versa)?” all the while processing the sequence of life’s cycles.

True, nothing is new under the sun. But Goldin’s work in Scopophilia, which is the Freudian theory that sought to explain and label those who derived sexual stimulation from looking at nude and semi-nude images— or as the Matthew Marks Gallery puts it, “the love of looking”— is purposeful voyeurism at best on the surface, but more importantly, and deeper still, Scopophilia creatively and gently articulates and links the human theme of love and desire between then and now.

As usual, Goldin expounds on simple narratives, but what’s different this time as Goldin re-envisions ideas and images we think we know, we question ourselves while reserving judgement, and our perspectives completely shift. Suddenly, all of Goldin’s work, however odd they may seem to the “normal”, from The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (where she explored the hardcore, post-punk, new-wave music scene of early 1980s New York) to Chasing a Ghost (her moving image installation based on her sister Barbara’s suicide when Goldin was only 12 years old), make complete sense as a collective body of work. Goldin, as we all are, is in a never-ending process of looking, seeking, loving and healing.

Scopophilia is on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery until December 23rd, 2011.

All images © Nan Goldin, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

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