Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency at The Museum of Modern Art, through February 12, 2017

“Comprising almost 700 snapshot-like portraits sequenced against an evocative music soundtrack, Nan Goldin’s The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is a deeply personal narrative, formed out of the artist’s own experiences around Boston, New York, Berlin, and elsewhere in the late 1970s, 1980s, and beyond. Titled after a song in Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, Goldin’s Ballad is itself a kind of downtown opera; its protagonists—including the artist herself—are captured in intimate moments of love and loss. They experience ecstasy and pain through sex and drug use; they revel at dance clubs and bond with their children at home; and they suffer from domestic violence and the ravages of AIDS. “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read,” Goldin wrote. “The diary is my form of control over my life. It allows me to obsessively record every detail. It enables me to remember.” — The Museum of Modern Art

38.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). C.Z. and Max on the Beach, Truro, Massachusetts. 1976. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006, 23 1/8 x 15 1/2″ (58.7 x 39.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Jon L. Stryker. © 2016 Nan Goldin

39.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Trixie on the Cot, New York City. 1979. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.4 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Marian and James H. Cohen in memory of their son Michael Harrison Cohen. © 2016 Nan Goldin

40.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Buzz and Nan at the Afterhours, New York City. 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 15 1/2 x 23 1/4″ (39.4 x 59 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

42.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). The Hug, New York City. 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 23 1/8 x 15 1/2″ (58.7 x 39.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

50.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Rise and Monty Kissing, New York City. 1980. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.4 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

43.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). David and Butch Crying at Tin Pan Alley, New York City. 1981. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2009, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.4 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

44.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Nan on Brian’s Lap, Nan’s Birthday, New York City. 1981. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.3 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

45.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Philippe H. and Suzanne Kissing at Euthanasia, New York City. 1981. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.4 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

46.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Max and Richard, New York City. 1983. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006, 15 9/16 x 23 1/16″ (39.6 x 58.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Family of Man Fund. © 2016 Nan Goldin

47.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Nan and Brian in Bed, New York City. 1983. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006, 15 1/2 x 23 3/16″ (39.4 x 58.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Jon L. Stryker. © 2016 Nan Goldin

48.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). Nan One Month After Being Battered. 1984. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2008, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.4 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase. © 2016 Nan Goldin

49.2006

Nan Goldin (American, born 1953). The Parents’ Wedding Photo, Swampscott, Massachusetts. 1985. Silver dye bleach print, printed 2006, 15 1/2 x 23 1/8″ (39.4 x 58.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the generosity of Richard O. Rieger. © 2016 Nan Goldin

Images courtesy The Museum of Modern Art