Laurel Nakadate, “Strangers and Relations”

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Nakadate made her name with photos in which she posed in various states of undress alongside older men; she would loan other pictures, which depicted her alone, to male strangers for a brief perusal, provided they left fingerprints with ink-stained hands. Whether these works represent a feminist indictment of male privilege or just a mockery of pathetic subjects who happened to be far less attractive than the artist herself, Nakadate's latest works take a less provocative approach to documenting her encounters with people she's never met before. Using Facebook, Craigslist and even DNA (to locate distant cousins), Nakadate tracked down numerous subjects, convincing them to meet her at night in remote locations around the country. She then took their portraits, using long exposures with only a flashlight and available starlight as illumination. The results look like crime-scene photos from before the crime is committed.
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