The storytelling central to the photographer’s practice takes precedence in a book that features her multimedia artworks, mimicking the formatting of their source material
Intimacy, in its most distilled and true form, typically only materializes between living creatures. But the works of Nan Goldin embody it with their subjects and viewers alike. Her images aren’t frozen, or even ephemeral. They continue to mature, through novel contexts and in the hands of the artist herself, who treats nothing as unfinished—every piece is subject to a reworking or reframing through new mediums or forms of presentation. Golden’s photographs are intertwined with the time in which they were made, but their emotional resonance grows beyond any one moment, overpowering their historical frameworks—deeply personal and ambiguous at once.
But Goldin’s oeuvre also extends well past the photographic work for which she is famed. She breathes further life into her visual renderings via slideshows and video installations. This lesser-known element of her practice is showcased in a book from Steidl, This Will Not End Well, published in collaboration with Moderna Museet, Stockholm, alongside a retrospective show and tour of the same name. The comprehensive overview of Goldin’s art examines the full-bodied experience that emerges from her multimedia projects, retained in the formatting of the book, which presents her images in the same format—on black backgrounds to match their source material.
Goldin considers herself a filmmaker—a sentiment underscored in the unequivocal sense of narrative built into her work. This Will Not End Well foregrounds her affinity for storytelling, and her unfaltering commitment to do so through finding the humanities in universal themes. In 20 texts—many of which were newly commissioned by the artist—the immensity of Goldin’s influence is imagined in a sea of perspectives and forms, the musings of those who stand beside her as arbiters of the cultural vanguard: including Vince Aletti, Eileen Myles, Cookie Mueller, Lucy Sante, and David Wojnarowicz.
Writes Aletti, “From the beginning, Nan Goldin has been confiding in us, drawing us close, teasing, whispering, bursting into laughter, choking up—telling us more than we might want to know, showing us more than we’re comfortable seeing.” This Will Not End Well further extends that effect, providing new grounds upon which to reflect, reexamine, and better embody the lessons embedded within her artistic legacy.