On Friday evening, March 3, 2023, Nan Goldin held an impressive, very personal speech when receiving the Käthe-Kollwitz-Prize 2022 at Akademie der Künste in central Berlin.
Nan Goldin was the last lecturer after a pathetic and warm speech by Klaus Biesenbach, now director of the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) in Berlin, whose first exhibition was a Nan Goldin solo-show when he was only 25 years old and still a student of medicine.
Since that first commun show in 1992 Goldin and Biesenbach always kept in touch with each other. Now, Nan Goldin is one of the most influential female photographer in the world. She recounted her long relationship with Berlin where she lived for three years in the early 1990s when receiving a DAAD-scholarship. Goldin summed up that since that first stay in the German capital she had regularly a show in Berlin – every two years her work is exhibited here. In her speech the artist also informed her audience about her successfull fight against the Sackler family who initiated the biggest drug scandal in the USA in the last century. The Sackler family had earned billions of US-Dollar in selling a highly addictive drug – Nan Goldin nearly died of the drug, about half a million of Americans died. The photos Nan Goldin is taking for decades bring to the public a culture which was long hidden in American society. With a very close and intimate camera Nan Goldin keeps an eye on her friends – some of them died in the 1980s/1990s of HIV, other of drug consumption. The view is always sensitive and delicate. The portraits show the fragility of lots of her friends.
The Käthe-Kollwitz-Prize is endowed with 12.000 EUR and sponsored by the Kreissparkasse from Cologne. It is wonderful that a Cologne based bank is supporting Berlin.
A visit of the show is highly recommended! The Akademie der Künste shows a fine selection of Goldin’s work from the 1970s up to new works from 2020.
Good to know: The solo-show at Akademie der Künste has been extended to April 2023.