Quote of Note | Nan Goldin

“I never really learned technology. In October of 1990, I got a Leica. All the other years I used cameras that I could buy hot in the bar where I used to be a bartender. In the early ‘70s, technology in the photo world was what Postmodernist theory is now. I have the same aversion to Postmodern theory as I did to technology. I don’t think either of them have anything to do with the creative process. I responded very strongly against the obsession with technology that was in the photo world in the early ‘70s. When we went to school, it was the rocking tree school where your photographs had absolutely no content, but you made perfect pictures and perfect prints. And photographers, particularly male, only discussed their cameras and equipment. My response was to not get involved with that at all. Actually, we used to call ourselves the scratch and dust school. Unfortunately, now that somebody is printing my early black-and-white work, it’s a bit of a problem because my negatives are so fucked-up. My students are still shocked by how little I know technically. They teach me a lot.”

Nan Goldin, in an interview with Stephen Westfall that appeared in the fall 1991 issue of BOMB. On August 12, Goldin will be awarded the MacDowell Medal at a ceremony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Above: Self-portrait with Head Against Pillow, Eyes Right, Boston, 1989. © Nan Goldin.