Nan Goldin has added to the pressure on art institutions to look again at the funding they receive. While the Tate bowed to public pressure in 2016 to end their long-standing financial relationship with BP Oil, Goldin is publicised the darker side of the philanthropic donations from the Sackler family, whose wealth comes from the drug OxyContin.
In an ArtForum editorial Goldin outlines her addiction to the substance and calls for the Sackler family to be held accountable.
“I learned that the Sackler family, whose name I knew from museums and galleries, were responsible for the epidemic. This family formulated, marketed, and distributed OxyContin. I decided to make the private public by calling them to task.”
The Sackler family have donated huge sums to institutions in the UK and the US, including the V&A and the Serpentine Gallery. OxyContin is prescribed for pain relief, but is highly addictive. A report in the New Yorker outlines the changes in prescribing the drug, pushed by the manufacturers, which has resulted in large numbers of users becoming addicted to the drug and high numbers of overdoses to this highly addictive substance.