Independent and Discerning No.17

Photography by Amit Berlowitz


The Labour of Love: Interview with Nan Goldin

‘Having other lovers doesn’t take anything away from the relationship necessarily, but it does intensify the struggle and the conflict between our needs’.

I have just finished reading an interview with Nan Goldin by Anja Cronberg and Christian Barbe, published in Acne Paper, 7th Issue Winer 08/09 and titled The Labour of Love.

What was compelling in this two page dialogue was a non-conversation of photographs, iconic photographs we know from Goldin. There are no attempts to  deconstruct particular images or to sensationalize her work or the artist. What remains are thoughts and perspectives on relationships, marriage and autonomy.

‘I’ve been in love with both men and women, but more often than not the women that I have loved and I have found ourselves getting too comfortable, too compatible, almost like sisters. There is a phenomenon among lesbian women that I call “bed death”. it means that two women get too intimate, bringing forth a sense of stasis, of inertia’.

The interview is accompanied by seven 4×6″ colour images that are synonymous of Goldin’s sensibility. However, here I have looked at them in a new way.

Pawel's back, East Hampton 1996