All by Myself
The work is displayed as part of the permanent exhibition
Installation with 83 35mm slide transparencies and a soundtrack, duration 5΄33΄΄on CD
Purchased in 2001
Inv. No. 92/01
The relationship between an artist’s life and work is often —but not always— important. In the case of Nan Goldin, her life is her work. Long before the “selfie era”, Goldin turned the camera to herself to maintain control of her personal narrative and preserve the memory of herself and that of the moments and people of her life. Having been struggling for years with substance dependence and depression, in 1988, Nan Goldin was admitted into a detox clinic. By the end of the treatment, when allowed to use her camera again, she took a series of photos of herself to capture the changes brought about by the abstinence from drugs. In the autobiographical All by Myself (1995–1996) these photos appear along with older ones of herself, either alone or with friends, relatives, and lovers, while Eartha Kitt’s All by Myself plays in the background. The combination of the raw intensity and sensual immediacy of her photographs, which, in synch with her usual practice, embrace the aesthetics of the snapshot, along with a musical score of an entirely different style, succeed in rendering the tension between the private and the public image, resulting in a deeply emotional and touching work.
Anna Mykoniati, text from the catalogue of the permanent exhibition ENTER EMSΤ. Collection & History, A short guide, 2020