Sunday, May 31, 2009
Lisa Ross and Nan Goldin conversation at Daneyal Mahmood Gallery
It was the optimal low-key setting to hear a photography legend and her protege chat. Nan Goldin, she who started out documenting unglamorous lives in a glamorous way, who identified with those on the outskirts but who now is a highly influential force, an "esque" no less, provided a public persona that seemed the perfect antidote to everything we might have dreaded from an artist with such a high-profile career. No bullshit, funny, self-effacing, and insistent on refocusing the conversation on Lisa Ross, whose evocative work was up at Daneyal Mahmood Gallery. Ross spoke in detail about the Uighur tribe of western China, and her 7-year project documenting their burial sites, which are a better art installation than much of what I've seen in Chelsea. The minute the conversation stopped Goldin got up and stuck a cigarette in her mouth, waiting to light it as she chatted with Mahmood.