PRINT March 2003

’80s THEN

Nan Goldin

TOM HOLERT: What is your predominant memory of the ’80s?

NAN GOLDIN: I missed the ’80s, fortunately—I wasn’t very aware of things outside my world. I knew about those photographers who were doing media-related stuff, from Cindy Sherman, whose work I love, to Sherrie Levine and Laurie Simmons and all those other ones, but I was never part of any movement, and I never read theory. I think that was to my benefit.

Nan Goldin, Self-portrait with Brian in hats, NYC, 1983, color slide. From The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.

TH: Did anyone try to put your work into a theoretical perspective?

NG: No, but Lisa Liebmann wrote about me in Artforum in ’85. She picked The Ballad of Sexual Dependency slide show out of the Whitney Biennial, where it was part of the film program because it wasn’t an installation, and only shown a few times, but she wrote a rave of it. J. Hoberman had also written a rave review for the Village Voice, and Andy Grundberg wrote on me in the New York Times, and then Max Kozloff

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