The artists first UK show in 20 years is a knotty elegy to youth and the people we leave behind
Nan Goldin photographs her life, her friendships and loves, her losses and addictions, good times and bad times. Little, if anything, is off-limits. The first large show of Goldins work in the UK in almost two decades might be accused of raking over old ground. But Goldin often returns to her past, reincorporating older images in new work, adding previously unseen photographs, or presenting mechanical carousel slide-shows in digitised and soundtracked narrative sequences.
And so it is here, in an exhibition that takes us from black and white to colour, from snatches of old Super 8 footage to answering-machine conversations, from a fire-eating queen in Manila to a drag bar in Boston. Here is someone crashed in a hotel corridor, stranded on the carpet between closed doors and the remains of room-service dinners. Here are blown-up airplane window sunsets and what, the title tells us ominously, is the sky on the twilight of Philippines suicide, Winterthur, Switzerland. This large-scale print gives us a bilious dirty orange sky, a silhouetted chimney, a sodium-yellow streetlight glowing in the dusk. The world heaves in this image, its emotional weather, the uncanny light.