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Sex, drugs, music, sex, abuse, dancing, aids, sex, laughter, drinks, sex, identity—subjects repeated in the images of Nan Goldin’s on display at the MoMA entitled “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.” The project is reinstalled in one of the second-floor contemporary galleries and is the intimate diary-visual from Goldin’s controlled lens. Spanning from 1979 to 2004, this installation consists of almost 700 snapshot-like portraits sequenced with a soundtrack.
Goldin captured instants of love and loss through personal experiences over a 20-year span in places like Boston, New York, and Berlin. Music accompanies the 35mm slides with voices that melded with the eras and emotions on view. From the Velvet Underground to Rosalind Hunt to Maria Callas, a symphonic harmony with honest imagery entices viewers to sit with Goldin’s work from beginning to end.
Serving as an introduction to the slideshow is a collection of materials gathered from Goldin’s archive including flyers and posters of past presentations of The Ballad.
The reinstallation at MoMA was organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large, MoMA, and Director, MoMA PS1; Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, MoMA; and Lucy Gallun, Assistant Curator, Department of Photography, MoMA. The Ballad is on display through February 2017.