The Devil's Playground (Nan Goldin)
Phaidon Press (1 Oct 2003): This is a major collection of photographs by Nan Goldin, representing over 35 years' work. This significant body of work begins in the early 1970s with her "Dazzle Bag" portraits and her series of photographs on themes of maternity, family and landscapes. The book contains Goldin's new and recent photographs in narrative and thematic sequences such as "Landscapes", "Self-portraits", "Maternity, Heartbeat" (2001), "My French Family" (1999-2001) and "57 days" (2000), many of which are previously unpublished. It also contains some of the "drag queen" photos of the mid-1990s, the "Cookie Mueller" portfolio of 1989 and the "Ballad of Sexual Dependency" images from the 1980s. Goldin's early black-and-white photographs from the Boston years in the 1970s also form part of this substantial collection. Nan Goldin's photographs are intimate and compelling - they tell personal stories of relationships, friendships and identity, but at the same time chronicle different eras and the passage of time. Their subject matter ranges from drag queens and AIDS to the family, maternity and most recently, nature and landscapes. Laid out in chronological sequences by the artist, like a diary, the material is both candid and affirmative. In addition, a number of short essays are interspersed throughout the photographic sequences. Individually, these texts discuss different aspects or themes in Nan Goldin's work such as the narrative, love and gender politics, while also referencing particular works such as the "Ballad of Sexual Dependency" (1981-96). A conversation between the artist and Catherine Lampert, freelance curator, former director of the Whitechapel and close friend of Goldin, touches on the sources of her inspiration and her life as a prominent artist.