Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Laurel Nakadate:Only the Lonely

'A Catalogue of tears: I wanted to deliberately take part in sadness every day'.

This exhibition was so inspiring, I think I spent almost 2 hours looking at the pictures and videos by Laurel Nakadate.I've never heard of her before but I'm glad I went to MOMA PS1 and found out about her work.I never realised that loneliness and exhibitionism are actually two very connected concepts. Especially in our time where everyone is obsessed with myspace,facebook,youtube..All those websites that give a chance to everyone to show everything about themselves. Laurel Nakadate captures the loneliness that most people feel perfectly. Sometimes she uses humour that sort of gives hope to lonely and sad people. There were 365 huge photographs of herself crying which at first seems too much but after a while I realised that these photos are something like a background to everything else in the exhibition. The videos with the lonely men (men in their 50s or 60s that agreed to make an art video with her because she promised to go home with them) are funny but if you think about it they're not that funny. These men seem desperate for human contact and it's not just them, there are so many people, especially in big cities that wake up every day and go to bed without having said a word to another person. People are afraid of each other.It's easier to talk to a stranger on the internet and open up and send pictures of yourself to them but it's so hard to do that in real life.
However, the videos give a sense of female power, in the way that Nakadate tells these men what to do and they obey everything she says ,which kind of ridicules them and make you think that most men would do anything if there is a possibility for them to have sex.
In the 'Love Hotel' video she acts out love scenes with an absent invisible lover which also made me laugh because in a way she's making fun of the sexist stereotypes.

“It’s a strange little movie about the ways the world can disappoint or enthrall us, and the things we do to be okay”

This is video of Laurel Nakadate's film 'Stay the same Never Change'.The actors are amateurs from Kansas City and the story is scripted and is shot at the actors' real homes.It follows the lives of teenage girls in the Midwest that go through what every normal teenager goes through and like most people they're not satisfied with their lives nad they want more.Also like most teenagers(and people in general) they need desperately to feel that somebody understands them and a sense of belonging somewhere.Laurel Nakadate's goal was to make the viewer feel uncomfortable (as with most of her work) and show how self-absorbed teenagers are but try to be brave and keep going. I wish I could find this film, I'm not sure if it was included in some of the videos I watched in PS1. I rememeber some videos with teenage girls and interesting dialogues and cinematography but I think they were parts of other short films she made.

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