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First UK solo exhibition of US artist Laurel Nakadate at the Zabludowicz Collection
Laurel Nakadate, March 29, 2010, From the series 365 Days A Catalogue of Tears, 2011.

LONDON.- The Zabludowicz Collection is showing the first UK solo exhibition of US artist Laurel Nakadate including an important new body of work commissioned for the exhibition. Working in film, performance and photography, Nakadate often puts herself – her body and personal relationships – at the centre of the nexus of author, artwork and audience. She creates highly charged scenes that put in play relationships premised on gender, power and sexuality. Using a finely tuned emotional tone, Nakadate’s work demonstrates an unusual level of humanity, as she foregrounds vulnerability, emotion and sensitivity with a striking level of candour. Issues of identity, social class and mental health are central to her practice. Several recent works have focused on teenagers as cyphers for universal human struggles, and as lynchpins for understanding the highs and lows of popular culture.

The exhibition brings together works made over the last ten years, including Oops! (2000), a three-channel installation in which the artist was invited into the homes of men she met through chance encounters asking them to dance with her to Britney Spears’ iconic song; and I Want to Be the One to Walk in the Sun (2006), a video featuring the artist interacting with people she meets in rural and urban locations. Often exposing herself to risk by behaving in overtly sexualized or seductive ways, Nakadate also creates scripted works featuring amateur actors, frequently teenagers, in which they appear to innocently enter into precarious situations. The exhibition will feature the impressive photographic series 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears (2010), for which the artist photographed herself crying every day for a year in order to ‘deliberately take part in sadness each day’. Nakadate has also made two feature-length films, which will be screened during the exhibition, in which she directs a series of languid teenage characters though a mundane suburban American dream, to create what she calls ‘visual fact coupled with a fictional narrative’.

Laurel Nakadate was born in Austin, Texas in 1975 and currently lives in New York, NY. She attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and graduated from Yale’s MFA program in photography in 2001. Originally working as a documentary photographer, she was selected as one of ‘25 under 25’ in the seminal 2000 book and show of that name. Since then she has worked primarily in performance, video and photography and in 2009 made her first feature film Stay the Same Never Change which was selected for Sundance in 2009, and was premiered in the UK at the Zabludowicz Collection in January 2010. Her second feature The Wolf Knife (2010) was nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Awards and will be premiered in the UK as part of this exhibition. Nakadate’s work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York; the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, Spain. Her work is in the MoMA Collection as well as several other significant international Collections. Her ten-year survey exhibition Only the Lonely curated by Klaus Biesenbach was on show at MoMA PS1 this year and ran concurrently with her solo exhibition at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York, Laurel Nakadate: 365 Days: A Catalogue of Tears. She is the recipient of several awards including the Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship, Yale University, 2001; Best Narrative Feature, Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2010 (for Stay the Same Never Change); Gotham Independent Film Award Finalist, 2010 (for The Wolf Knife); Independent Spirit Award Finalist, 2011 (for The Wolf Knife).

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