Photography by Nan Goldin
My desire is to preserve the sense of peoples’ lives, to endow them with the strength and beauty I see in them. I want the people in my pictures to stare back. I want to show exactly what my world looks like, without glamorization, without glorification. This is not a bleak world but one in which there is an awareness of pain, a quality of introspection. We all tell stories which are versions of history—memorized, encapsulated, repeatable and safe. Real memory, which these pictures trigger, is an invocation of the colour, smell, sound and physical presence, the density and flavor of life. Memory allows an endless flow of connections. Stories can be rewritten, memory can’t. If a picture tells a story, then the accumulation of these pictures comes closer to the experience of a memory, a story without end.