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Nan Goldin


Presented in Rome at the Gagosian Gallery last Spring, Scopophilia was 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 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.

Alongside the slideshow are related photographs in which Goldin has combined her own photographs with her images of historical artworks as seamless thematic grids.


Severine Morel
[email protected]

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