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Scopophilia: Nan Goldin vs. Tumblr

6 April 2014

Author : joseph-delaney


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Gagosian Gallery
Via Francesco Crispi 16
00187 Rome

For her first major exhibition in Rome, photographer Nan Goldin takes on the Gagosian with Scopophilia, a series of new and archive photos of the nude in various forms.


Named after a greek word meaning “the love of looking”, the title also refers to a fetishistic means of gaining specifically sexual pleasure from the act of viewing images of the nude body, erotic photographs and pornography. The artist has presented this dual interpretation in an interesting curatorial technique: her own images, the intimate and often explicit closeness to her subjects the she is known for presented in a selection of nudes from her archive (selected both by herself and others) presented side-by-side with images from Paris’ Musée du Louvre, where Goldin was every Tuesday from the outset of her project in 2010 given private access to freely photograph the museum’s vast collections of painting an sculpture.



The resulting curation comes together in pairings of like-images, often starkly contrasting in mood and method, but highlighting a surprising likeness in interest and dialogue.

The exhibition marks an interesting shift in focus becoming typical of the attitude towards curation and exhibition; her recent embracing of digital media allows instant unrestricted access to her archive, and the ready availability of these images not only to the artist but across the Internet opens up opportunity for reassessment of imagery not only within the context of her practice but in relation to the wider history of art.

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The practice interestingly mimics a graphic trend seen across the blogosphere, perhaps a reaction to the endless regurgitation of image of a constant scrolling platform as a form of visual editing, of re-contextualising, placing images not within their own contexts or that of the platform, but in the context of one another as a means of visual comparison.
All images from Nan Goldin: Scopophilia and


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