Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Nan Goldin’s fifth exhibition with the gallery since 1994. Memory Lost, the exhibition’s centerpiece, is a slideshow in which Goldin explores the darkness of drug addiction through images and recordings from her extensive archive. The exhibition also features dreamlike photographs from Memory Lost, along with a recent series of intimate portraits made at home during the pandemic.
Projected in a darkened room, Memory Lost presents a haunting and emotional narrative comprised of outtakes drawn from Goldin’s archive of thousands of slides. Depicting scenes from her life and circle of friends, the 24-minute piece recounts the pain and fleeting moments of beauty in life lived through the lens of addiction. Presented for the first time on the West Coast, the piece includes a score commissioned from composer and musician Mica Levi, with additional music by CJ Calderwood and Soundwalk Collective, interwoven with Goldin’s own voice, answering machine tapes from the 1980s, and contemporary interviews.
The still photographic prints from Memory Lost convey Goldin’s distinct sensibility with mysterious depictions of skies, beaches, animals, and crowds. Often blurred or overexposed, the images suggest luminous fragments from a partially remembered past.
The most recent works in the exhibition were made at home during quarantine in 2020-21, portraying writer Thora Siemsen, who moved into Goldin’s apartment early in the pandemic. Tender, intimate, and quiet, the photographs exhibit the artist’s singular understanding of chiaroscuro, and mark Goldin’s rare return to portraiture.