Goldin, Nan. Joey and Guido watching the drag show. 1997.
Sometimes you cannot help what you learn, or do not learn, and “there’s a point between what
you want people to know about you and what you can't help people knowing about you.”
Goldin’s Nan One Month After Being Battered (1984), she turns the camera on herself to
document the bruising on her face, supposedly, one month after the violent event took place. She
returns the gaze with a blood-shot eye and red lipstick on. This bruising exists on Goldin’s face,
visually, at the surface level: a level at which we also recognize the makeup on her face. In this
way, I am framing Goldin’s bruises as a sign of the larger violence of transformation that I am
pointing to. This is a specific version of Nan Goldin: a version of herself among the myriad of
Arbus, Diane. “Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph” Aperture.