Laurel Nakadate

Love Hotel and Other Stories

April 9 - May 14, 2005

Press Release

Danziger Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of new video work and photographs by Laurel Nakadate. The show will include two new single channel pieces "Love Hotel" and "Where You'll Find Me" and one new three channel piece "Stories" as well as a selection of unique polaroids and C-prints.

Ms. Nakadate's videos have made her something of a cult figure and favorite of art insiders. Her work can currently be seen in the show "Greater New York" at P.S. 1., and she was recently selected by Art Review as one of their top 25 emerging artists.

Born in Austin, Texas in 1975, Laurel Nakadate attended the museum school in Boston and graduated from Yale's MFA program in 2001.

Originally working as a still photographer, she was selected as one of "25 under 25" in the seminal 2000 book and show of that name. However, from that year on she began working primarily in video. Her first video installation, "I Wanna Be Your Mid-Life Crisis", was one of the highlights of the 2002 Armory Show where it was exhibited by Daniel Silverstein.

"I Wanna Be Your Mid-life Crisis" documented a project in which the artist turned the tables on a collection of unattached middle-aged men who had tried to pick her up on the street. In subsequent staged "parties" she invited them to dance with her and perform for the camera. The work humorously explored issues of role-playing and identity as well as the emotional currents that are both recognized and trivialized by pop-culture. In subsequent works including "Oops" and "Lessons 1-10" (where Nakadate offered herself as a live model to a particularly untalented artist) Nakadate quickly established herself as a fresh and unique voice.

Nakadate's new work continues to investigate social behavior and the relationship between self-exploration and voyeurism as her environment moves between the American Midwest and Japan.

In the three-channel piece "Stories" Nakadate returns to the format of game-play as she creates a series of interacted vignettes with a cast of middle-aged outsiders. The piece investigates the lives of lonely people who are invisible to most of society while at the same time exploring issues of connection, control, and manipulation.

In the modern Gothic "Where You'll Find Me", Nakadate acts out the primal fantasy of suicide in tableaux both humorous and disturbing. She describes the piece as being a reaction to reading the papers and retaliatory act of controlling the amount of blood you see and the environment in which you see it. At the same time the variety and tone of each setting reveal Nakadate's strength in creating memorable cinematic compositions.

"Love Hotel" finds Nakadate performing for the camera in her most provocatively explicit work. Filmed in a series of different Japanese Love Hotels, "It's about loneliness. About being by yourself in a place where you're supposed to be in love." says Nakadate. Unafraid of using her sexuality, Nakadate explores the power of the camera to wink at a complicity between the observer and the observed while examining deeper layers of emotion.

In the current exhibition Nakadate also re-visits still photography with a selection of images either taken as records of her video performances or in polaroids created alongside her video work.