Laurel Nakadate

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New York-based photographer, video, and performance artist Laurel Nakadate has developed a series of ongoing projects that began during her graduate studies at Yale University School of Art in which she involves middle-aged single men in a series of uncomfortable scenarios. The artist’s work successfully mixes voyeurism, awkwardness, and manipulation with ideas of feminism, the male gaze and power. Often she will invite men who hit on her in parking lots, grocery stores and the on the street to come to her apartment or she will go to their homes and ask them to participate in events such as a fake birthday party for her or dancing to Britney Spears songs with a Hello Kitty boombox. More often than not the men, out of desperation, blindly follow Nakadate’s requests to perform in the videos, regardless of how uncomfortable they may be. In another project, the artist, as an adult, dressed in an authentic Girl Scout uniform and went door to door with a secret camera selling countless boxes of cookies, attempting to enter the home of the buyer. Nakadate’s work began as an undergraduate student at School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston when she would document young women at wild parties in the Boston area. Later at Yale, the artist began conducting her projects through video which eventually led to several successful works that drew attention at the 2002 Armory Show in NYC. In 2005, Nakadate presented “Love Hotel and Other Stories,” which was featured in the New York Times and the Village Voice. This was followed by an acclaimed video in the 2005 “Greater New York” exhibition at P.S.1 in NYC. The Believer Magazine conducted an excellent interview with the artist in October of 2006.

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