Bea putting on makeup, Boston (1973) © Nan Goldin

This Will Not End Well

Written by Art Editor

This Will Not End Well”
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Oct 29 2022 – Feb 26 2023

This Will Not End Well” at Moderna Museet Stockholm is an impressive retrospective of Nan Goldin’s oeuvre shown in a new way focusing on the artist as a filmmaker. In close collaboration with curator Fredrik Liew and architect Hala Wardé, six black boxes with different layout are specifically constructed to fit the artworks. Like a village of small houses inside the museum, each showing slideshows with sound – a mix of music and voiceovers where Goldin reads from medical reports, excerpts from interviews etc.

The iconic American artist, known for her intimate photographs of the queer scene in New York in the 80s-90s, is also a fearless activist using her leverage in the artworld to fight against the artwashing of the Sackler family and their Oxycontin-fortune. The latter has recently been portrayed in the documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (2022) by Laura Poitra which won a Golden Lion in Venice and will be shown at Stockholm Filmfestival Nov 9-20.

While the slideshows are acutely personal, they speak of the foundations of human life - love, pain, intimacy, beauty and grief. Goldin describes the first slideshow “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1981-2022) as a diary that she lets everyone read. “This Will Not End Well” is title full of humor and irony that in Goldin’s words refer to the “bright glare of mortality” that we wake up to every day of living. The exhibition takes the audience through a full range of intense and dark emotions. While extraordinary and brilliant, it is not a show you breeze through but certainly one that will linger in both heart and mind.

The exhibition will continue on a tour to Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan.

Amanda at the sauna, Hotel Savoy, Berlin (1983) © Nan Goldin
Greer modeling jewelry, NYC (1985) © Nan Goldin
Jimmy, Paulette, and Misty, New York (1991) © Nan Goldin
The hug, New York City, 1980 © Nan Goldin