Nan Goldin - New Collection

Nan Goldin, Mark tattooing Mark, Boston, 1978, National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, purchased in celebration of the National Gallery of Australia's 40th anniversary, 2022 © Nan Goldin
Nan Goldin, Mark tattooing Mark, Boston, 1978, National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, purchased in celebration of the National Gallery of Australia's 40th anniversary, 2022 © Nan Goldin

The ballad of sexual dependency is a defining artwork of the 1980s. Nan Goldin’s extended photographic study of her chosen family – her ‘tribe’ – began life as a slide show screened in the clubs and bars of New York where Goldin and her friends worked and played. The slide show was then distilled to a series of 126 photographs, which has recently become part of the National Gallery’s collection.

Goldin takes photographs to connect, to keep the people she loves in her memory. She is committed to the idea that photography can faithfully record a time and place, and do so in a way that has real social purpose. Using a documentary, snapshot style, she lays bare her life in the manner of a family album. We see her alongside her friends and lovers as they live their lives – hanging out, falling in and out of love, having children. But this is a community that would be decimated by HIV/AIDS and drug-related deaths. The balladhas become as much a testament to how much Goldin and her community have lost, as it is a record of the look and feel of a past time.

Goldin refers to The ballad as her ‘public diary’, stating that her photographs ‘come out of relationships, not observation’. The work’s overriding themes, she has stated, are those of love and empathy and the tension between autonomy and interdependence in relationships—relationships in which all genders struggle to find a common language.

Curator: Anne O’Hehir, Curator, Photography

N.B: Check NGA website for affiliated Nan Goldin events

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November

Sydney: The exhibition delves into the State Library of NSW's vast collection of two million images, showcasing 400 photos – many displayed for the first time.

March

Albury: The National Photography Prize offers a $30,000 acquisitive prize, the $5000 John and Margaret Baker Fellowship for an emerging practitioner, and further supports a number of artists through focused acquisitions.

May

Ballarat: Art Gallery of Ballarat presents Lost in Palm Springs, a multidisciplinary exhibition that brings together fourteen creative minds who respond to, capture, or re-imagine the magical qualities of the landscape and the celebrated mid-century modern architecture of Palm Springs, California and across Australia.

June

Canberra: The works by the 34 selected finalists provide a powerful visual record of the year, reflecting a particular time in Australian culture, both socially and artistically.

Sydney: The exhibition features over 90 photographs that shine a light on the astonishing array of flora, fauna and landscapes that can be found across the Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and New Guinea bioregion.

July

Wollongong: Employing magical realism and unique printing techniques, Cooper’s photographs place their inhabitants in a dreamlike world.

Melbourne: A group photography exhibition from 19 local Melbourne photographers.

Sydney: Award-winning art director, trained architect and acclaimed photographer Damien Drew shines a light on the serene yet haunting landscapes of Japan’s Shikoku Island in his latest exhibition ‘Shikoku no Seijaku’ (Shikoku Silence).

Sydney: Influenced by a family legacy from migrant to missionary, seamstress, and educators, Milgate's work intertwines personal and historical narratives, delving into the socio-political context of colonial and post-colonial discourses.