Press Release

Harvard Presents First Solo Boston-Area Exhibition of Laurel Nakadate’s Videos

Fri, 11/04/2011 - 18:16 -- wds
Cambridge, MA
November 4, 2011

The Harvard Art Museums and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts present Laurel Nakadate: Say You Love Me, an exhibition of eight videos by the artist, filmmaker, and photographer Laurel Nakadate, whose work pushes the boundaries of voyeurism, exhibitionism, and vulnerability. This solo exhibition—the artist’s first in the Boston area—will be held at the Carpenter Center’s Sert Gallery November 17 through December 22, 2011. There will also be a screening of her film The Wolf Knife (2010) at the Harvard Film Archive on November 18. Please note: The Sert Gallery will be closed for a private event on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20.

In her videos, Nakadate performs a Lolita-like role in a series of sometimes humorous, but frequently unsettling fictional vignettes with socially awkward, middle-aged men she meets through chance encounters. Her work references video art, but draws on social media in its resemblance to amateur videos on YouTube or the reality television format of putting strangers together under a certain premise and filming what unfolds. In the three-channel video Happy Birthday, the artist’s earliest piece made in 2000 when she was a graduate student at Yale, she sits quietly while three men earnestly serenade her and encourage her to blow out the candles on her cake. In Good Morning Sunshine (2009), Nakadate continues to exploit the unsavory yet titillating nature of interactions between older men and girls by voicing the role of a predator. Nakadate is always in control, whether in front of or behind the camera; yet her intention is not to make fun of her collaborators. Her videos are complicated but ultimately empathetic meditations on loneliness and longing.

Nakadate was born in Austin, Texas, and raised in Ames, Iowa. She received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University in 1998, and received her MFA from Yale University in 2001. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Laurel Nakadate: Only the Lonely, a 10-year retrospective, was recently on view at New York’s MoMA PS1. The artist’s first feature-length film Stay the Same Never Change premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. The Wolf Knife, from 2010, earned nominations for a 2010 Gotham Independent Film Award and a 2011 Independent Spirit Award, and will have its Boston premiere at the Harvard Film Archive, on November 18 (see Exhibition Programming below).

Laurel Nakadate: Say You Love Me is curated by Michelle Lamunière, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Assistant Curator of Photography in the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums.

List of Videos in the Exhibition
Happy Birthday (2000), three-channel video, 4:45
Lessons 1–10 (2002), single-channel video, 1:59
Greater New York (2005), single-channel video, 5:10
Beg for Your Life (2006), single-channel video, 13:01
Darkest Evening of the Year (2009), digital video loop, 3:20
Exorcism 3 (Dancing in the Desert for Britney) (2009), HD and standard digital video loop, 3:20
Exorcism in January (2009), HD digital video, 11:40
Good Morning Sunshine (2009), HD digital video, 14:50

Exhibition Programming
More information about related programming can be found by visiting www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/nakadate.html and www.harvardartmuseums.org/exhibitions/past/laurel-nakadate-say-you-love-me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6pm
Opening Celebration and Panel Discussion: Laurel Nakadate: Say You Love Me
M. Victor Leventritt Panel Discussion*
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
(The lecture and panel discussion will be held in the lecture hall; the reception held outside the Sert Gallery, on the 3rd floor.)
Free admission, open to the public

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition Laurel Nakadate: Say You Love Me, this evening will feature a lecture by Nakadate, a panel discussion, and a reception. Organized by Michelle Lamunière, curator of the exhibition and John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Assistant Curator of Photography, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums.

Panelists include Deborah Bright, Professor of Photography and History of Art & Visual Culture, Rhode Island School of Design and Visiting Professor of Photography, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University; and Carrie Lambert-Beatty, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities, Departments of Visual and Environmental Studies and History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University. Moderated by D. N. Rodowick, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and Chair, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, and Director, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University.

Friday, November 18, 2011, 7pm
Film Screening and Discussion: The Wolf Knife
Harvard Film Archive, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
$12 (discounts apply for HFA members)

In conjunction with Laurel Nakadate’s exhibition in the Sert Gallery, Laurel Nakadate: Say You Love Me, the Harvard Film Archive will screen Nakadate’s 2010 film The Wolf Knife, which explores desire and the loss of innocence through a friendship between two teenage girls who embark on an ill-conceived road trip from Florida to Nashville. The filmmaker will introduce her film and participate in a postscreening discussion. Organized by Michelle Lamunière, curator of the exhibition and John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Assistant Curator of Photography, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums. Lamunière will introduce Nakadate and lead the postscreening discussion.

Credits
The exhibition and opening are presented by the Harvard Art Museums and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums.
*The M. Victor Leventritt Fund was established through the generosity of the wife, children, and friends of the late M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard Class of 1935. The purpose of the fund is to present outstanding scholars of the history and theory of art to the Harvard and Greater Boston communities.

The film is presented in collaboration with the Harvard Film Archive and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and is made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums.

About the Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums, among the world’s leading art institutions, comprise three museums (Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler) and four research centers (Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis). The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the range and depth of their collections, their groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of their staff. The collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media, ranging in date from antiquity to the present and originating in Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Integral to Harvard University and the wider community, the art museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and other visitors. For more than a century they have been the nation’s premier training ground for museum professionals and are renowned for their seminal role in developing the discipline of art history in this country. www.harvardartmuseums.org.

About the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
The only building in North America designed by architect Le Corbusier, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) is the home of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies for undergraduate study in the visual arts and a graduate program in film and visual studies at Harvard University, two public art galleries, and the Harvard Film Archive. The Carpenter Center exhibits contemporary work in support of the curriculum of the department in the Main Gallery located on the ground level of the building, and in the Sert Gallery on the third floor at the top of the ramp. The Carpenter Center hosts a Thursday night lecture series that brings renowned contemporary artists to Harvard to speak about their work, as well as Visiting Faculty artist talks, BYO: Bring Your Own—Voices of the Contemporary at the Carpenter Center; the Film Theory/History Seminar, and a wide variety of exhibition-related events and film screenings.

All events and exhibitions, unless otherwise indicated, are free and open to the public. To learn more about Carpenter Center events, call 617-495-3251 or visit www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/ccva.html.

The Sert Gallery is located on the third floor of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 1–5pm. Please note: The Sert Gallery will be closed for a private event on Saturday, November 19, 2011 and Sunday, November 20, 2011.