THE BALLAD OF sexual dependency.

the tiger lillies & nan goldin

The Tiger Lillies perform a live soundtrack for the Ballad, one continuous piece of music that evolves and underscores the beauty, pain, joy, tragedy and sorrow of relationships and the startling images by Nan Goldin. 

The forty five slide show, including over 700 images and a sound track, functions like a film. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, constantly reedited and updated, began its public life on the club circuit in New York City and has since been shown at museums, galleries, film festivals, and alternative spaces both in the U.S. and abroad.

‘This set of photographs works like a film with characters. A story without words, fifty minutes, magnified by the music of The Tiger Lillies, a dark atmosphere of crazed cabaret. Martyn Jacques, made-up face, singing with his husky tenor refrain Sexual Dependency. A fragile moment of grace ...’
— Le Monde

"I met Nan a few years ago now. She used to come to our gigs in Brooklyn. She then got in touch and showed me her photo collection, the Ballad of Sexual Dependency. For me it was an inspiration. Her work felt so close, the lives of people from urban subcultures, the underground. Non-conformists. People making their own rules, living lives their own way. It reminded me of my own youth, drugs, night clubs, sex, fetishism. Sad photos as well of abuse and self-harm. So I wrote an epic poem on a subject so close to my own experience and youth. It’s a piece of music and set of lyrics I love. It’s an honour to work with and be inspired by such a great artist as Nan." - Martyn Jaques

"For almost three decades I’ve travelled throughout the world projecting many different versions of ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependancy’, from downtown clubs to cinemas and finally to museums. What started as a home movie has expanded through dozens of audiences’ reactions. I’ve collected all kinds of music - much of it as gifts - in the same way I’ve collected images. I’ve edited dozens of versions of the soundtrack, which has functioned as my narrative voice, the lyrics often explaining my attitude toward images, from irony to tenderness. This will be the second time, after the Tate Modern Live Performance in 2008, that I’m collaborating with musicians who have created their own original score in relation to the slideshows." - Nan Goldin Running time : 45 minutes (+45 mins of concert)



Martyn Jaques Vocals, Piano, Accordion. Adrian Stout Double Bass, Saw, Theremin. Adrian Huge Drums, Percussions, Backing Vocals.
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was recorded live by Claus Buhler. Photography by Nan Goldin.