Art Late: Late-night encounters at the Art Gallery of Ballarat alongside Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

Nan Goldin Bruce on top of French Chris Fire Island N Y 1979 print version
Nan Goldin Bruce on top of French Chris Fire Island N Y 1979 print version

Art Gallery of Ballarat logo

Art Late – a curated series of late-night encounters at the Art Gallery of Ballarat 
in conjunction with Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
2 March – 2 June 2024

Stay up for Art Late, Art Gallery of Ballarat’s curated series of late-night encounters kicking off with two compelling Australian indie bands, Gut Health and The Belair Lip Bombs.

Be taken into the night with modern-day psych-rock bands live in the Gallery alongside secret viewings of Nan Goldin’s poignant photographs of New York’s post-punk generation. Stay for supper, sweets and drinks until lights out. Sonically daring, visually adventurous. Hypnotic art-punk with a bizarre post-punk edge, six-piece ensemble Gut Health (March 16) has emerged from the Naarm/Melbourne underground as one of Australia’s most compelling new acts.

Led by Maisie Everett, The Belair Lip Bombs’ (April 13) melodies paint stories of longing and self-discovery. The band performs at the Art Gallery of Ballarat following on from their successful run of the US playing to the crowds at SXSW. See their masterful music live, entwining evocative narratives with indie arrangements.

Gallery Director Louise Tegart said that she was excited by the prospect of the Art Late program drawing new audiences to the Gallery. “We know that people like to experience galleries in different ways, and we want to appeal to different groups in different ways. We are hoping that having some of the most exciting musical acts performing here, linked to our changing exhibition program, will add a whole new dimension to the ways our visitors can enjoy the Gallery.

“We are keen to support recent initiatives of the City of Ballarat to develop Ballarat’s night time economy and broaden the range of events and experiences of offer at night and expect that these regular Saturday night art and music experiences at the Art Gallery of Ballarat will attract a new audience of both Ballarat locals and out-of-town visitors.”

Opening on 2 March, Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency on loan from the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) will make its Victorian debut in Ballarat as part of PHOTO 2024.
Nan Goldin: The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is a highly anticipated exhibition. Nan Goldin is an American artist whose work explores subcultures, moments of intimacy, the impacts of the HIV/AIDS and opioid epidemics on her communities, and photography as a tool for social activism. Goldin’s work is always born out of her own experience, and her deeply personal and candid portraiture acts as a visual autobiography.

Goldin was born in Washington DC in 1953, and in high school was introduced to photography, which she then studied at art school in Boston. Goldin moved to New York City in 1978, where she began to photograph the post-punk new-wave scene, along with the city’s vibrant, post-Stonewall queer communities.

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency began life as a slide show and was published as a now-iconic book in 1986 that established Goldin as a major contemporary artist. A long-standing social activist, Goldin is the subject of the recent, award-winning documentary film, All the beauty and the bloodshed, which considers the relationship between her photographic practice and her activism.

Goldin refers to The Ballad as her ‘public diary’, stating that her photographs ‘come out of relationships, not observation’. The series stands as both a poignant tribute to the significant losses experienced by Goldin and her community. The work’s overriding themes, she has stated, are those of love and empathy and the tension between autonomy and interdependence in relationships—relationships in which all genders struggle to find a common language.

Recently, Nan Goldin took the number one spot on the ArtReview Power 100 list, an internationally recognised ranking of artists who use their work and platforms to intervene in the pressing social and political issues of the current moment.

The exhibition has been curated by Anne O’Hehir, Curator of Photography at the NGA, who will give a talk about Nan Goldin and the exhibition on Saturday 2 March at 2 pm. This exhibition is developed in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia through the Regional Initiatives Program, supported by Major Partner TLE Electrical.

Gut Health harness an uncompromising ethos that both showcases and fosters open liberation and the healing qualities of consensual rage in its many and varied forms. The band bottle these values along with the spirit of New York’s No-Wave revolution and the diverse musical backgrounds of each player – spanning punk to jazz and beyond – to create a polymorphous and positively thrilling, dance-floor filling, post-punk concoction.

With a meticulously crafted debut album Lush Life, now adorning record shelves and popular playlists, The Belair Lip Bombs’ live shows highlight their dedication and musical evolution over three years. Check out new album Lush Life, offering both fresh listeners and long-standing fans an immersive journey into THE BELAIR LIP BOMBS’ passion and growth, leaving an unforgettable mark in the indie music landscape.
Art Gallery of Ballarat
40 Lydiard Street North, Ballarat
Art Late – $50 for show, exhibition and supper. Drinks at bar prices.

Founded in 1884, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest, largest, and most significant art collection in regional Australia. The Gallery brings in over 200,000 visitors annually and is a major part of Ballarat’s visitor economy as well as a focus for visual arts in the Ballarat region. A recognised leader in regional arts, the Gallery is known for mounting high-profile, high-quality exhibitions that contribute to national conversations and debates about culture and identity.

PHOTO International Festival of Photography
Photo Australia was established in 2018 by Artistic Director Elias Redstone in partnership with founding board members William Bowness AO, Mark Henry and Naomi Milgrom AC to deliver a major new photography biennial for Australia. Photo Australia supports universal access to diverse, progressive, meaningful discourse through the commissioning, presentation and promotion of new photography, art and ideas.

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