Self-Portrait in My Room, NYC, 1983
© Nan Goldin
Brian Clamp was kind enough to send me a few images (one of them above) from the new show opening at ClampArt in New York on September 6, Friends from the Boston School.
A 1995 exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston grouped Nan Goldin, David Armstrong and fellow photographers and friends Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Mark Morrisroe, Jack Pierson and several others, dubbing them the “Boston School.” This name stuck, and the photographers have since been referred to by this title.
Working some years after these artists (and currently attending the same school that Goldin went to in the ’80s), I’ve naturally found myself interested in what this group of individuals were doing and, also, how their careers and relationships panned out.
In the ’80s it seemed all the pictures had been taken. If you were talking about issues of representation and how they played out in popular media, about the effect of Calvin Klein, then the best place to go was Herb Ritts or Bruce Weber. So many ideas were bound up in the “popular” image, and it seemed natural that one’s own commentary could be marshaled with someone else’s pictures. But once the idea of having ideas went out the window, you could take your own pictures– because you weren’t necessarily trying to say something about the world; you were just talking about yourself. The Boston School people took their own pictures; they broke a double spell in photography, against the anti-sentimentality of the ’80s and the patriarchal technicality of the ’70s.
Friends from the Boston School brings together Nan Goldin, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jack Pierson, David Armstrong, Tabboo!, and Gail Thacker. The show will be located in ClampArt‘s “Project Room” and will remain up from September 6 – October 6.