FotoFest Exhibitions

Laurel Nakadate

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Laurel Nakadate, who grew up in Ames, Iowa, performs in front of the camera along with a cast of amateur actors in an uncomfortable pairing of documentary photography and tabloid television. Locations shift from dingy, claustrophobic motel rooms to the majestic open spaces of the American West. Her Lucky Tiger series, for example, comprises small snapshots in which she appears in suggestive poses inspired by 1950s-style cheesecake and camera club photos. These snapshots were taken during a performance in which the artist and various anonymous middle-aged men, enlisted via, covered their hands with fingerprinting ink and touched the photographs together. Nakadate’s videos continue her performative exploits with a variety of middle-aged men, seemingly playing out different roles and scenarios that tread uncomfortably close to dark psychological territories that seem completely at odds with the politically correct attitudes one might ascribe to age-appropriate male/female relationships.

Laurel Nakadate was born in 1975 in Austin, Texas and raised in Ames, Iowa she received a B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University, Boston in 1998 and completed her M.F.A at Yale University, New Have Connecticut in 2001. She currently lives and works in New York. Nakadate has had nine solo exhibitions and participated in group shows at numerous galleries and museums throughout the world, including the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía in Madrid; the Berkeley Art Museum, California; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; the Getty Center, Los Angeles; the Asia Society, New York; and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; among other institutions. Her first feature-length film, Stay the Same Never Change, premiered in January 2009 at the Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently screened at the 2009 New Directors/New Films series at The Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the San Francisco Art Institute, and other venues worldwide. Nakadate has been the subject of numerous articles and reviews in the art press and general interest publications throughout the world. Her work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. She is represented by Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.