Part of Fall 2008 - A Lower World
“I am obsessed with men who live alone with no one to care for them. I think about the desire to be saved from loneliness, the way one life can change another. I think about the lies we tell and the lies we are told. I am fascinated with the ways lives intersect, and the ways the larger disasters of the world meet the personal, quiet terrors of an isolated life.” Laurel Nakadate
In many of her performative video narratives, Nakadate invites single, middle-aged men that she has met randomly to engage in role play, constructing disconcerting vignettes about loneliness, seduction and the dialetical relationship between submission and power. Jerry Saltz aptly described her work in 2001 as as a “Wolf in baby-doll’s clothing.” In A Message To Pretty the artist re-enacts Meg Ryan’s infamous fake orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally in numerous poses and locations, juxtaposing it over men who speak to the camera as if it were a woman they once loved, including disturbing diatribes of misogny and violence “I would like to cut up your arms…stab your bottocks…cut your thighs.” Say You Love Me is perversely funny. Nakadate appears through glass sliding doors flashing her panties to a man who conducts her actions from a hotel bed to the tune of You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Dusty Springfield. While Love Hotel finds Nakadate performing alone for the camera in procative poses. A video that explores loneliness, she goes through the motions of sex without a partner present.
Ultimately Nakadate’s work is about adventure and risk. Part documentary, part make-believe, she meets strange men in their worlds and weaves complex, sexual narratives that straddle a thin line between tragedy and comedy. Nakadate is dangerous. Her innocence and sexuality is potent, unnerving and subversive. Her videos excavate a complex exploration of sexual agency through irony, humor and ultimately the desire to cross boundaries and see where they may lead.
Oops, 2000, 4 min. video
Happy Birthday, 2000, 5 min. video
Lessons 1 – 10, 2001, 2 min. video
Greater New York, 2005, 5 min. video
Stories, 2005, 13 min. video
Love Hotels, 2004, 3 min. video
Where You’ll Find Me, 2005, 4 min. video
Beg For Your Life, 2006, 13 min. video
I Want to be the One Who Walks in the Sun, 2006, 15 min. video
Say You Love Me, 2007, 3 min. video