THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND

29 Nov

NAN GOLDIN KISSWALKING THROUGH DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND AT THE WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, A MAJOR SURVEY OF WORK BY AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER NAN GOLDIN, SOMETHING IN HER WORK HAD CHANGED.  GROWING UP DEVOURING THE WORKS OF NAN GOLDIN, CINDY SHERMAN, COLLIER SCHORR, & CORRINE DAY, THERE WAS A RAW INTIMACY  IN THE AWKWARDNESS.  GOLDINS PORTRAITURE CONVEYED CULTURAL DISPLACEMENT, ABUSE, EXCESS, LOVE & LOSS.  SO IT WAS SHOCKING TO SEE THE VICTIM OF ABUSE BECOMING A PREDATOR HERSELF.NAN GOLDIN PREDATORNOWHERE WAS THIS MORE APPARENT THAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF HER YOUNG NEPHEW SIMON, THE LINCHPIN OF HER NEW BODY OF WORK.  THE INTIMATE PHOTOGRAPHY OF THE PAST REPLACED WITH AN UNCOMFORTABLE TRANSGRESSIVENESS OF YOUTH & INTIMACY.NAN PREDATORTHE WORLD IS A SMALL PLACE. SO WHEN I FOUND OUT SIMON & JESSICA WERE COMING TO STAY WITH US IN BERLIN MY JAW DROPPED.  I HAD BEEN COMPELLED TO WRITE AN ESSAY ABOUT DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, SPECIFICALLY ABOUT PERVASIVE FEELINGS OF TRANSGRESSION IN THE NEW WORK.  NOW I WAS GETTING TO MEET THE MUSES FACE TO FACE, & FIND OUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER.SIMON AND JESSICASIMON & JESSICA WERE NO LONGER PHOTOGRAPHS IN A GALLERY, THEY WERE HOUSE-GUESTS. JESSICA WAS STUDYING UNDER DR GUNTHER VON HAGEN IN SWEDEN, & SIMON AN ARTIST IN HIS OWN RIGHT WAS JUST ON HIS WAY OUT OF CENTRAL ST MARTINS.  I HAD TO INQUIRE ABOUT MY HUNCHES, & THOSE FEELINGS WERE VINDICATED.  SHORTLY AFTER THE PORTFOLIO WAS FINISHED, SIMON REQUESTED THAT NAN REMOVE SEVERAL OF THE PHOTOS FROM THE DEVILS PLAYGROUND EXHIBITION & CATALOG,  WHICH SHE VEHEMENTLY REFUSED.  WE ALWAYS HEAR STORIES ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHERS LIKE TERRY RICHARDSON, BUT WE RARELY HEAR ABOUT THE TRANSGRESSIVE PRACTICES OF FAMOUS FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHERS.  FOR SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS THE IMAGE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE RELATIONSHIP IT THREATENS TO DESTROY.SIMON JESSICA SHOWER

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