From my first night at The Other Side—the drag queen bar in Boston in the ’70s—I came to life. I fell in love with one of the queens and within a few months moved in with Ivy and another friend. I was eighteen and felt like I was a queen too. Completely devoted to my friends, they became my whole world. Part of my worship of them involved photographing them. I wanted to pay homage, to show them how beautiful they were. — Nan Goldin*
Following the 2019 Steidl* publication of an expanded and updated version of Goldin’s 1992 book The Other Side, LibrairieMarian Goodman presents a selection of the artist’s earliest photographic works.
I came upon the word transmissions while thinking about how the ethereal, corporeal, and technical dimensions of ballet resonate in the artworks and souvenirs it produces. Transmissions are subject to interference and interruption. Ballets are conveyed to us through mediations, anecdotes, and bodies. And often when I’m watching ballet in its contemporary manifestations, I wonder how these transmissions have occurred.
I started looking into the history of ballet in the twentieth century… Through a web of genealogies, I eventually arrived at the flamboyant intersection of ballet and art in New York, beginning in the 1930s. There the avant-garde experiments of the previous decades in Europe incited a particularly intense cross-contamination, an overt articulation of homosexual erotics long before the emergence of a public language around queerness. Looking at modern American art of this period through the prism of ballet reveals a tangle of interrelationships, collaborations, derivations, and hybrid aesthetic programs that still feel surprisingly contemporary. — Nick Mauss*
Two years after the close of TRANSMISSIONS—Nick Mauss’ multimedia installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art—the museum and Dancing Foxes Press have published an exhibition catalog that beautifully extends the show, combining performance and exhibition images from the Whitney with an extensive selection of new illustrative and textual documentation.
I drew multiple webs of interrelationships, elective affinities, and echo waves of influence, focusing as much on the social, professional, sexual, and collaborative points of contact as on transhistorical resonances that were in some cases perhaps fantasy—eschewing standard mappings of modern art… [embracing] anachrony and distortion over apparent objectivity…
My decision to insist on ballet as the fulcrum in TRANSMISSIONS was also a response to the ubiquity of postmodern dance derivations within the contemporary museum environment and the reductive version of modernity that these prequalified dance idioms signify and cement. Contemporaneity is reduced to a “look” of modernity. Modernist ballets make for engaging historical documents precisely because their own relationship to history is a kind of suspension of disbelief; they are intrinsically modernist, even if they don’t “signal” modernity to contemporary eyes.— Nick Mauss*
The world of the spectator, the receiver, was a primary lens through which I constructed TRANSMISSIONS, and the flux of the exhibition’s daily audience over the course of two months took on a central role within it. This book is similarly directed at the wholly different—private, rather than social—negotiations of the reader. — Nick Mauss*
Deanna Lawson’s “meticulously staged yet profoundly intimate images of the sartorial styles, quotidian habits, and domestic interiors of the African diaspora in her native United States, Brazil, and beyond” are now on view in Basel.*
One of my first visual influences… was the idea of a family album… In my portrait work, I am creating more formal stages, a theater of the family snapshot…
I think that there is definitely something tragic in the family photograph—it’s a fundamentally retroactive idea. We make the image specifically to look back on it, to refer to it later in life. Even in my old family albums, the process of aging—the space between them and now—can be haunting and unstable. How to deal with the idea of projected time in a static medium is an interesting challenge. While the work is by no means autobiographical, its impulses are born from personal experiences. It references people I knew and had relationship with. — Deana Lawson
DEANA LAWSON—CENTROPY is co-produced with the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo as part of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo—Though It’s Dark, Still I Sing. The curatorial team includes Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, Paulo Miyada, Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi, and RuthEstévez.