Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nan Goldin: amazing photographer

Last Saturday, Nan Goldin's The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency was played at the Tate Modern. The setting was the massive Turbine Hall: a giant screen was set up there, and live music accompanied the projection of the photographer's slide show.

The film is different every time it is being projected around the world. Reports tell that this time around it was as strong and current as ever, the drug queens. junkies and sleazy demi-monde of New York found their place in the dramatic setting of the Turbine Hall as easily as any modern art masterpiece ever installed there.

For the first half, dedicated to cross-dressers, music came courtesy of John Kelly, a New York-based actor, visual artist and singer. The second part, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, was accompanied by the extraordinarily talented singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf. What an amazing performance that must have been. He even sung "Che faro senza Euridice", the Orpheus's lament from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.

While most of us are not fazed anymore by the once very controversial photographs of Nan Golding, people around the world are still dying of AIDS or drugs or both, they are still desperate to find meaning in their lives. Goldin's photographs are still relevant in this way and in the fact that they are beautiful in their own, mysterious, uncompromising way.

I hope we can see this slide show or an exhibition of hers in Greece soon. You can see Saturday's performance on Youtube for the moment.

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