Laurel Nakadate, January 16, 2010, all images via Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects
Laurel Nakadate investigates the concepts of feminism, portraiture and temporal documentation in her series of self-portraits, 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears, on view at Leslie Tonkonow which has been extended to July 25. As the title suggests, the series documents Nakadate before, during, and after crying through January 1st to December 31st, 2010. Both an archival work and, in many ways, a performance, the series comments on the legitimacy of archiving one’s private life for the purpose of public exposure.
More images and text after the jump…
Laurel Nakadate, July 8, 2010
The photos, taken in various locations ranging from Nakadate’s apartment, to international tourist attractions, to her childhood home, show the artist in a theoretical moment of pain; the action’s authenticity, however, is in the eye of the beholder. Often, the composition and setting becomes a greater part of the work than Nakadate herself, as her body becomes a medium whose purpose is to highlight the surroundings. In April 13, 2010, a topless Nakadate hides her face behind her hair while posing in front of an open window. The photo becomes more about her body and its surroundings than her performance, the arrangement and composition of the shot distracting from its purpose: to document her tears.
Although the photos capture the most intimate of moments, there is a disparity between this and their having been made with the intent of sharing. Nakadate is known for her self-aware, alluring works in video and film, such as her series “Only the Lonely”, currently showing at PS1, in which she documented artistic collaborations with men found after they had made advances to her in public- this is a different type of femininity in which sexuality is not only embraced, but exploited. This same control is exhibited throughout 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears— Nakadate is playing the damsel in distress but seemingly only because it’s a role she wants to play.
Exhibition Page [Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects]
Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely [MoMA PS1]
Go See- Laurel Nakadate “Only the Lonely” at MoMA PS1 [Art Observed]
Art & Photography- Curated by Marilyn Minter [The Paris Review]