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Laurel Nakadate Documents 365 Days of Her Own Tears

A provocative photographer and filmmaker, Laurel Nakadate is widely known for her disturbing encounters with older men on film; she taunts while her awkward new friends just stumble around her stupidly. In her latest series of photographs, 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears, the Yale-trained artist may be feeling some regret, but we doubt it. The tearful series, which is on view in totality at New York’s Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects through June 25, captures Nakadate “taking part in sadness each day.” She weeps on planes and trains, in the bed and on the pot, half-dressed and fully naked. Made in response to the diaristic nature of present-day picture taking, the artist states her photos are inspired, somewhat contrarily, by the “happy self-portraits people make day after day with their cell phone cameras and post on Facebook.”

All 365 photographs, printed at 8 x 10, are displayed at the gallery, while 120 larger scale prints from the series are on view in Only the Lonely, a ten-year survey show of Nakadate’s work — which also includes several video installations, feature films, and earlier photographic series — at MoMA PS 1 in Long Island City. Meanwhile, two new, short videos round out the Tonkonow show: Lost Party Guest, which finds a blindfolded Nakadate forlornly wandering around the Park Avenue Armory’s historical reception rooms in darkness, observed distantly by the glint of a flashlight, and Poland, an animated slide show of an actress at a press event, which was shot on an iPod that records imagery and then trippingly altered to the dissipated point of pure form and color.

Click through below to check out a slideshow of images from her series 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears.


Laurel Nakadate, February 9, 2010. From the series 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears, 2011. Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

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