NAN GOLDIN: SCOPOPHILIA at Gagosian Gallery Rome

From 21 March to 24 May 2014, NAN GOLDIN: SCOPOPHILIA at Gagosian Gallery of Rome

Gagosian Rome is pleased to present Nan Goldin‘s Scopophilia. This is the renowned photographer’s first major exhibition in Rome.

The Greek term scopophilia  literally means “love of looking,” but also refers to the erotic pleasure derived from gazing at images of the body. Nan Goldin’s Scopophilia is both a slide-show and an ongoing photographic series, begun in 2010 when she was given private access to the Louvre Museum every Tuesday. During these privileged sojourns, she wandered and photographed freely throughout the museum’s renowned collections of painting and sculpture.

Goldin’s errant experiences at the Louvre confirmed that many of her artistic obsessions–sex, violence, rapture, despair and the mutability of gender–stem from deep imaginative currents in Western art history, myth, and religious iconography that have potent sources, from the transformative myth of Pygmalion to the second-century marble, The Sleeping Hermaphrodite. Many of Goldin’s own photographs that she has paired with Louvre imagery have never been exhibited before; some were unearthed from her archives by her assistant and others she resurrected herself. The result is a collective portrait about love and desire, propelled by “all of the pleasure circuits deeply fulfilled by looking.”

From 21 March to 24 May 2014, NAN GOLDIN: SCOPOPHILIA at Gagosian Gallery of Rome
Nan Goldin Chimera, 2012 © Courtesy dell’artista

From the thousands of photographs that Goldin took of paintings and sculptures in the Louvre collections, she assembled a 25-minute operatic slideshow, in which her highly subjective and enlivening impressions of historical artworks are paired with her own images dating as far back as the late 1970s. The result is a resonant dialogue between human histories past and present. Scopophilia the slideshow had its premiere at the Louvre in 2010.

Over a melancholy classical soundtrack, composed by Alain Mahé for piano, cello and voice, Goldin quietly muses on mythological figures such as Narcissus, Tiresias, and Cupid and Psyche. All find their equivalents in her own portraits of friends and extended family, in turn tender, savage, and eroticized. At Gagosian Rome, the slideshow will run continuously during opening hours for the duration of the exhibition.

Alongside the slideshow are related photographs in which Goldin has combined her own photographs with her images of historical artworks as seamless thematic grids. Several of these compositions were made for the Rome exhibition and are being seen for the first time. These photographic panels represent a new direction for Goldin whereby her recent embrace of the computer has given her new access to her own archive, and the ability to trawl an ever-expanding image-world. With this technology, she is exploring her own work afresh, and in relation to History, to create unexpected and enchanting insights into images and themes across time and culture.


From 21 March till 27 June  2014

Gagosian Gallery

Via Francesco Crispi 16

Tue–Sat: 10:30am–7:00pm and by appointment

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