The Ballad of Sexual Dependency on view at MoMA
“Real memory, which these pictures trigger, is an invocation of the color, smell, sound and physical presence, the density and flavor of life,” wrote Nan Goldin in her 1986 photobook, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Originally created as a slideshow presentation set to songs by the Velvet Underground, James Brown and Nina Simone, to name a few, The Ballad’s photographs—which were first publicly displayed at the Whitney Biennial in 1985—are a visual diary, snapshots of Goldin’s friends and creative cohorts as well as members of the cultural underclass, including pimps, transvestites, battered women, drug users and people with AIDS. But no matter her subject, all of Goldin’s photos have the same hallmark: a sense of intimacy, emotional intensity, eroticism and voyeuristic appeal. Through February 12, 2017, New York’s Museum of Modern Art will be presenting The Ballad in its original 35mm format, and will be exhibiting its collection of Goldin photos that also appear in the slideshow.