The photographer Nan Goldin said she kept an award-winning documentary about her life from getting a release in Israel as part of a years-long cultural boycott of the country.

That film, titled All the Beauty and the Bloodshed and directed by Laura Poitras, was well-received, winning the Venice Film Festival’s top honor in 2022 and subsequently receiving an Oscar nomination in the Best Documentary category.

In an interview with journalist Harron Walker that was published on Friday by n+1, Goldin stated that she deliberately kept the film from being released in Israel, however, because she “refused to let it be distributed” there.

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“Personally, I’ve been on a cultural boycott of Israel for my whole life,” Goldin said. “I turned down speaking, teaching, and exhibition opportunities, including refusing to let my current retrospective go to Israel.”

She also revealed that, in 2018, she pulled a work from the Zabludowicz Collection, whose owners, the collector couple Anita and Poju Zabludowicz, “are Israeli arms dealers,” according to Goldin. (More than a decade ago, Poju’s company, the Tamares Group, was reported to hold shares in Knafaim Holdings, which has provided services to the Israeli Air Force, but a spokesperson for him recently said that Tamares has no current investment in Knafaim. The couple has stated that they support a “peaceful” two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.)

Goldin was among the many artists to sign a letter published by Artforum in October that called for Palestinian liberation and a ceasefire in Gaza, where more than 17,000 people have reportedly been killed in the past two months by Israeli airstrikes and a ground invasion. The letter was criticized in some corners because it initially did not contain mention of the October 7 attack by the militant group Hamas, which killed 1,200 Israelis and involved the taking of 240 hostages.

In the n+1 interview, Goldin responded at length to the controversy surrounding the letter in Artforum, whose editor, David Velasco, was fired after its publication for disregarding steps in the magazine’s editorial process, according to its publishers. (After his firing, Goldin and other artists, writers, and curators signed a boycott of Artforum, as well as ARTnews and Art in America, which are also owned by Penske Media Corporation. Jay Penske, the company’s founder and CEO, has said the context for Velasco’s firing was “misinterpreted.”)

“Listen, right after I signed that Artforum letter, I was told that many of my collectors and art advisors were not going to work with me anymore,” Goldin said. “I had sales that were canceled. Somebody returned a work of mine. I got a call from someone telling me to pull my name from the letter, or put out a written statement and apologize because the letter didn’t explicitly condemn Hamas.

“Of course we condemn Hamas’s brutality that day,” Goldin continued, “but the letter was basically a demand for a ceasefire. It was written that we opposed civilians being killed on both sides. I was very surprised that I got such pushback from collectors and art advisors. My career has already suffered from this. It’s not like I’m immune from the effects of this.”

In November, Goldin announced that she had canceled a project for the New York Times’s magazine because of the newspaper’s “complicity with Israel.”

The month afterward, ArtReview put her at the top of its Power 100 list. Goldin’s citation applauded her for “sticking to her guns despite pressure from collectors, galleries and institutions on artists to withdraw their public positions.”