BC: My partner and I were in NYC in the middle of last year and saw Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency” at MoMA. Something that stood out was the slide-show that was playing in the small room just off the gallery space. It was images set to music as was originally intended for the work. Goldin’s images of women and children where utterly captivating – soft, insightful, tender. I’m curious to hear if you saw the show and what you thought if you did…
Nan Goldin’s Ballad of Sexual Dependency playlist on Spotify
MM: I saw it in September and it’s actually one of the highlights of my year. I’ve been listening to the playlist that goes with the slideshow ever since I saw it. The slideshow being a piece of photographic history and sort of a stepping stone for people (women) to make work that was less structured more of the moment, ‘raw’, etc. I feel like it was soo important and moving for me to see the slideshow. Being so familiar with the work and the book but the slideshow being the real intended vessel for the work… I was just really moved. At some point it becomes less about the individual pictures and more about the overall experience of both Nan and her friends. It opened up this idealized romantic NYC life that was so far from the truth especially for queer people and women who are most of the pictures, like those people were poor, and living in the dark, and doing drugs, etc. But since Nan, people just wanted to be making that kind of work that feels “real”. I was mostly moved by the inclusion of music and the categorization of pictures and seeing something that is a milestone in the history of art that people like my aunt and professors lived to see come to life, you know?
BC: Oh, definitely. And of course your right! It’s hard to image in 2017 just how radical that type of photography was for its time.
MM: Yes! The validation for a woman who was making ‘snapshot’ pictures (I’d argue that word) in a time when men with big ol’ 4×5’s are out there shooting the world and making up scenes for pictures, it was wild and radical. But it was also just what she wanted, so her friends could come over and see all the pictures.
BC: Are you interested in other display formats outside of the book and the traditional gallery wall?
MM: For now I think the book and the gallery wall are where my interests are!