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Nan Goldin

Biographies
Nan Goldin

*  1953 Washington, D.C.

Nan Goldin was born in Washington, D.C. on 12 September 1953. Soon her family moved to Boston. After her sister committed suicide in 1965, Goldin began to photograph to make her memories indelibly - her camera became the eye that did not forget. Together with friends she explored the aesthetics of fashion photography and got in contact with the transvestite and cross-dresser scene in Boston. At the beginning of the 1970s Goldin strove for a documentary objective depiction of these people, whom she admired for their special confidence. She summed the pictures of this milieu up in her book 'The Other Side'. After studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Tufts University in Boston, she took up photography. In 1974 Nan Goldin realised her first exhibition project "Image Works" at the university in Cambridge. She graduated in 1977 and moved to New York one year later. Her circle of friends, in which she found a substitute for family life, became her motifs in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The viewer penetrates deeply into the private sphere of the depicted people, not at least because of the exact titles of the photographs, which mention names, places and dates. In a show with hundreds of slides Goldin presented the documentation of her friends' wild everyday life under the title 'Ballad of Sexual Dependence'. Her slide shows, which she expands and re-organises for each showing depending on her moods, emotions, impressions and memories, are particularly impressive. In 1986 Goldin also exhibited abroad. In 1988 Nan Goldin had to undergo a drug withdrawal and began with a series of self-portraits, which clearly show an intensified affect control. The loss of several friends due to AIDS-infections over the following years resulted in Goldin's return to the depiction of other people at the beginning of the 1990s. She spent a year in Berlin following an invitation of the DAAD and exhibited together with her artist colleagues as part of the new 'Boston School' at the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1995. One year later the Whitney Museum of American Art organised a retrospective exhibition. Today Nan Goldin is one of the best-known contemporary photographers and her works are present in many collections. She continues to work in her life's own rhythm in New York.