artist / participant
7 Oct 2023 until 28 Jan 2024
Nan Goldin This Will Not End Well
Nan Goldin is one of the most high-profile artists of our time. Her view of the joys and sorrows of a human life through the lens of her camera is legendary. Her photos of herself and her friends are snapshots of intimacy and coupling, the quotidian and wild parties. She makes social issues visible and negotiable, even far beyond the art world. In the largest gallery of the Stedelijk, Nan Goldin returns to the origins of her artistic practice with the exhibition This Will Not End Well. As a filmmaker, she presents slideshows consisting of thousands of photos in six unique buildings, supported by music, voice-overs, and archive material.
The exhibition is comprised of: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1981–2022), Nan Goldin’s magnum opus; The Other Side (1992– 2021), a historical portrait produced as an homage to her trans friends whom she photographed between 1972–2010; Sisters, Saints and Sibyls (2004–2022), a testament to the trauma of families and suicide; Fire Leap (2010–2022), a foray into the world of children; Sirens (2019–2020), a trip into drug ecstasy; and Memory Lost (2019–2021), a claustrophobic journey through drug withdrawal.
Nan Goldin's view on the joys and sorrows of a human life through the lens of her camera is legendary
Goldin photographed the world of her bohemian friends with raw tenderness. Her photographs give us snapshots of intimacy and coupling, the quotidian and wild parties, and the struggle between autonomy and dependency. One of her well-known works is The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1981–2022). It has grown into a work of over a thousand photographs, in which Nan Goldin documents her circle of friends in Provincetown, New York, Berlin and London from the 1970s and 80s up to the present day. Without passing judgement, she shows the seductive and destructive sides of sex and drugs, as well as the joys and sorrows of intimate relationships and friendships. Nan Goldin continues to influence new generations with her raw photographs. She not only radically changed photography in the art world, but also left her mark on fashion and advertising photography.
Nan Goldin makes loaded social issues visible and accessible
Subjects such as drug use, sex work, domestic violence, LGBTQ+ rights and the consequences of the AIDS epidemic, which were previously taboo in society, are discussed through her vulnerable and personal photos. In the series Sisters, Saints and Sibyls (2004), Goldin explores family traumas and suicide, and The Other Side (1993–2021) pays homage to gender diversity. In the series Memory Lost she approaches life from a penetrating addiction-perspective. In 2017 she also founded the action group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), which specifically targeted the Sackler family. The group holds this drug-producing billionaire family responsible for the addiction to strong painkillers of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S., a situation that has reached epidemic proportions and caused countless overdoses. The Sacklers are important donors to a large number of leading international museums. Many of these institutions, due to pressure from P.A.I.N., cut ties with the family and removed all traces of the Sackler name from their premises.
I found a way to make films out of still images. Making slide shows gives me the luxury of constantly reediting to reflect my changing view of the world. — Nan Goldin
This Will Not End Well is Nan Goldin's first solo exhibition as a filmmaker
Although Goldin's photography is best known, her artist practice began around 1980 presenting eclectic slideshows of hundreds of photographs to live audiences in clubs and underground movie theaters. She updated her slideshows every time, edited them again and again and used multiple projectors. These ever-changing slideshows formed the foundation of her artistic practice. Over the past forty years, she has produced a variety of slideshows — from portraits of her friends to stories of traumatic family events. She continuously adds new elements to her works, including moving images, musical compositions and archive material. At the Stedelijk she returns to her origins and presents slide slows in six rooms, consisting of thousands of photos, music, voice-overs and archive material.
THE INTERNATIONAL TOUR
The Stedelijk receives This Will Not End Well first from organizer Moderna Museet in Stockholm as part of the international tour of museums, including the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin (October 2024–March 2025); Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan (October 2025 - February 2026); and Grand Palais, Paris (March - September 2026).
ABOUT NAN GOLDIN
Nan Goldin (born in Washington D.C. in 1953) is one of the most high-profile artists of our time. Her work’s exploration of the human experience is legendary and has profoundly influenced subsequent generations. Her first work, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, documents life in Provincetown, New York, Berlin and London beginning in the 1970s and 80s and up to the present day. Goldin photographed the world of her inner circle of creative, bohemian friends with raw tenderness. Her photographs give us snapshots of intimacy and coupling, the quotidian and wild parties, and the struggle between autonomy and dependency.