Image courtesy of MOCA
Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
From March 04, 2018 to September 03, 2018
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), presents Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin, an exhibition that brings together the works of three of the most influential photographers of modern life. Drawn largely from MOCA’s collection of photography, the exhibition provides a remarkable opportunity to explore the ways in which French-Hungarian photographer Brassaï (Gyula Halász), American photographer Diane Arbus and American photographer Nan Goldin use the camera to reflect and transform the world around them.
Image courtesy of Brassaï
Real Worlds features approximately one hundred works by the three artists, including Brassaï’s unforgettable images of the nocturnal denizens of Paris, Arbus’s most memorable and unsettling portraits, and Goldin’s searingly poignant documentation of herself and her community. The exhibition is structured around MOCA’s collection of photographs that appear in three legendary photobooks, including Brassaï’s The Secret Paris of the 30’s (1976). The exhibition also features Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph – a collection indelible photographs by Arbus from the 1960s and early 1970s. These photographs capture a diverse range of individuals – from nudists to suburban families to people pushing the boundaries of gender.
Image courtesy of Diane Arbus
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency by Goldin is the most recent series of work included in the exhibition. These include raw and intimate color photographs documenting the social lives of the artist and a bohemian cast of characters during the 1970s and 1980s in Boston, New York and Berlin. In addition to the photographs, the display includes a digital presentation of Goldin’s original 35mm-slide installation “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1985) allows viewers to experience the artist’s photographs as both static and moving images.
Image courtesy of Nan Goldin
Spanning more than 60 years, the exhibited works at Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin track a dynamic history of how the representation of personality and the category of “social documentary” were challenged and newly conceived in the 20th century, and how photobooks have contributed to this history. The show provides a chance to explore nearly a century of enduring and influential photographs, works which continue to resonate with intimacy and immediacy in the present-day image-filled world.