Sunday, August 7, 2011

Laurel Nakadate, 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears @ Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

I am not sure 365 regular sized pictures of Laurel Nakadate crying have the same impact as the onslaught of the poster size versions at PS1. I do like that she has turned Roni Horn’s You are the weather, on its head, contorting what was a subtle love letter to the ebbs and flows of a relationship into an almost comically bombastic tribute to self-indulgent pain that results from listening too much Nirvana. What is even more interesting about the show are the two new videos that break from Nakadate’s recurring themes of sex, power, or exploitation. 

The first video is a grainy shot of what appears to be flashes exploding in front of two people sitting down, but it is so grainy it is hard to tell. The photographing of celebrities may fit into Nakadate’s past work, but the graininess creates a jarring visual break from her previous videos. The second video features Nakadate blindfolded with a spotlight on her as she gropes around a dark room. I am not entirely sure what to make of it, but I am interested. The room is decorated in the old wealth of large fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling dark wood interiors. The spotlight that stalks Nakadate begins to feel like Daddy Warbucks making Annie earn her keep by having her fumble around in the dark to entertain dinner parties. Well, I guess it’s not a complete break, but the videos do seem to turn away from the sex of the past work and it definitely forms a more opaque vision of the world.

Already down
Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects (535 W 22nd St Btw. 10th & 11th Aves.)


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