Nan Goldin Response
Nan Goldin took really personal, intimate and real candid moments from her life in New York and put them together in a controversial series. I personally like the way that she chose to document this time in her life and turn it into art. I think most of the controversy comes from the photos that seem to be sexualized. I do not agree that these photos were made with a pornographic intent. I think it is capturing real people in real moments. These are moments that any person can experience at any time, but I think for some people it is something that crosses the line when thrown at you in a photograph. While in Italy over the summer I saw firsthand just how taboo sex in America is. It seems everyone wants to be so guarded and not talk about it, but the truth is, it’s everywhere. I found that in Italy everyone was just so open about it, so if you did see a child running nude on the beach, you don’t see it as a sexualized thing because everyone is comfortable with it. Not only are we seeing a lot of nudity in her pictures but we see the realization of other controversial situations. We see pictures involving drugs, homosexuality and also abuse. I think the way that she uses herself as a model in the picture that shows that she has been beaten is just another way to show that this is real art. Situations that everyone goes through but that Goldin finally stepped back and documented this. I really see so much emotion and heart in her images, and I feel that you can tell that when she set up these images to be taken she could feel all the emotion that her subjects felt, because this was her everyday life. I remember looking at the images Sally Mann took in class involving her children and there was a lot of nudity in that. The only criticism I had with some of those images was with the children being so young, they might not be fully aware the meaning behind the photos and then wondering if they were fully aware that the images would be published and if so what that meant. I still feel that Mann has a strong body of work and I don’t feel the need for the censorship. So when I look at Goldin’s images, I really disagree that they need to be censored because I feel she would have made it clear her goal in this body of work and that the subjects in the work are not ashamed of how they are living and they want to make the world aware of happens that people try not to think about. I feel that the work would not have the same effect if she had censored the images because I feel like if there was any way to make an impact and show truth that photographing these moments would be the best way. I think she laid everything out on the table and did not hold back which makes it a very dominant body of work.