Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nakadate, nudity, and Lydia's reading this Monday

I recently happened upon Laurel Nakadate’s show at P.S.1, ‘Only the Lonely’. Nakadate’s most interesting work are home videos of herself with lonely old men doing pseudo sexual and intimate activities. In some she asks them to act out murder scenes, or sing her happy birthday. In another a triptych of video screens shows her doing the choreography for ‘Oops I Did It Again’ with three different men. Each has his own way of following her, and trying to copy the movements in a way that is abjectly pathetic. It’s work that you can’t stop yourself from watching, but you feel exploitative by proxy.

Did these men know she was an artist? Will they ever find out that they’re sad attempt to seduce this girl is amusing the artistic elite of NYC? Nakadate emphasizes this by performing in skimpy outfits, and though in interviews she claims not to exploit her subjects, she has built her career on these videos. At the P.S.1 show, you knew that what you were watching must have had some value, by its presence at such a museum. Indeed, reviews of Nakadate’s work are generally very positive.

But recently another Nakadate video has been hung in the lobby of the Standard Hotel in L.A. which caused one commentator to question if to the drunk patrons of the hotel, her videos were noticeable different than the pop culture videos she’s allegedly critiquing. It’s an interesting question. How does a video of a girl in a string bikini dancing change when its hung on the walls of a prestigious art museum, versus hanging in the lobby of a hotel?

My play, which has a reading on Monday, May 23rd at 6:30 as part of BLOODWORKS touches on questions like these. You should probably come see it. Did we mention there are $2 beers?

Monday, May 23rd at 6:30 PM
by Lydia Brunner
Directed by Lila Neugebauer
at the Algonquin Seaport Theater,
on the 2nd floor of Pier 17 Mall at South Street Seaport.

Gavi is stuck at home in the ‘burbs for winter break. She has six weeks to finish her art for her senior showcase and she’s drawing a blank until her lame cousin Omar agrees to an unlikely proposition. Meanwhile, her dad hires a Craigslist mistress, and her mom searches for the perfect rug. A darkly comic look at the secrets we keep.

No comments: