Nan Goldin is one of the most compelling and internationally renowned photographers working today. Weekend Plans features both iconic and as yet unseen works by Goldin, ranging from the 1970s to 2016. These include the ground-breaking 1985 slideshow The Ballad of Sexual Dependency; photographs of friends, family and lovers; sixteen recent and rarely exhibited drawings; and a series of images taken in Ireland in 1979 and 2002, which have never been shown before.
Goldin’s work shares highly personal stories about her own life and those close to her, revealing a deeply sensual world of friendship, love, and transgression. Arresting in their intimacy and sheer honesty, the artist has stated,
“I photograph directly from my life. These pictures come out of relationships, not observations”.
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency – the name she gave her ever-evolving slideshow – eventually grew into a forty-five minute multimedia presentation of more than 700 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack. The work is a deeply personal narrative taken from Goldin’s own intimate life experiences throughout the late 1970s and ‘80s which include photos of the artist with her lover, her friends taking drugs, making love and partying, children of her friends, and photos of several of her friends who died from AIDS. “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read,” Goldin wrote. “The diary is my form of control over my life. It allows me to obsessively record every detail. It enables me to remember.”
Throughout this exhibition there is a particular focus on the role and expression of female relationships in Goldin’s work. Many of the photographs in this exhibition include images of Vivienne Dick, and show their enduring friendship. Taken over the course of three decades from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, the photographs were shot across various locations such as New York, New Hampshire, London, Dublin and Donegal.
A selection of these images form part of a series of unseen photographs from Ireland in which Goldin is showing at IMMA for the first time. Taken during her visits to Ireland with Vivienne Dick in 1979 and 2002 they include landscapes, seascapes, portraits of Vivienne and details of Irish life taken around Donegal, Galway and Dublin. For Irish audiences, some of the scenes carry an almost colloquial visual quality – there are images of sheep, cows, purple skies, mossy rocks and dark beaches.
At IMMA, Weekend Plans is presented alongside the solo exhibition 93% STARDUST by Irish artist and film-maker Vivienne Dick. Both Goldin and Dick were key figures of the ‘No Wave’ movement, an underground music, art and film scene associated with New York’s avant-garde in the late 1970s. Rachael Thomas, the curator of these two exhibitions at IMMA, states, “These are historic exhibitions that bring together two pioneering artists that have shaped photography and film in a raw and real sense. By showing Nan Goldin and Vivienne Dick alongside each other, not only are we acknowledging their friendship but we are celebrating artists that have defined our understanding of life.”
A new Limited Edition has been produced by Nan Goldin, titled The Singing Pub, and will be available to purchase at the IMMA Shop.
Visitors are advised that this exhibition contains adult themes and explicit imagery that may not be suitable for all audiences. Please talk to a member of our Visitor Engagement team if you need more information.
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