Uploaded by vice on Aug 31, 2011


ERIN KRAUSE: Most of the time you work with--
LAUREL NAKADATE: With men that I meet--
they're chance encounters.
ERIN KRAUSE: Which is also really scary and weird and
kind of sad.
LAUREL NAKADATE: I mean, there's nothing more pathetic
than a chance encounter that you try to turn
into something real.
ERIN KRAUSE: Laurel Nakadate is a New York video artist who
has been likened to some of the great female powerhouses
in the art world.
Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, and Louise Lawler have all
come up in reference to her work.
She's brought the idea of feminism to a completely
modern and fresh perspective.
She uses a mix of voyeurism, empathy, and straight up sex
to flip the idea of the hunter and hunted.
She is really hot, loves to show off her very impressive
collection of panties, and, as I learned, is always, always
the hunter.
LAUREL NAKADATE: I mean, it doesn't sound good, does it?
I meet strangers on the street, and I go home with
them and make a video.

ERIN KRAUSE: Laurel's most well known works up to now
involves meeting lonely, lonely strangers, going to
their houses by herself with a video camera, and then having
dance parties and nude modeling sessions with them.
It seems dangerous and totally exploitative, but at the same
time, they're clearly enjoying themselves.
LAUREL NAKADATE: I prefer for the men to approach me,
because I feel like if a man approaches me and is
interested in me, then maybe he'll be interested in making
work with me.
I feel like when I have tried to pursue men for videos, it
never works out, because--
ERIN KRAUSE: They just think that you're--
LAUREL NAKADATE: Their heart's not in it.
ERIN KRAUSE: --weird or crazy or something.
Well, those other men might think you're
weird or crazy, too.
LAUREL NAKADATE: But they might also feel bad enough
that they want to take part.
I don't really try to think too much about what they
actually want to do with me because then it will keep me
up at night.
But I feel like that's all part of it, is taking these
chances and constantly feeling out the situation and knowing
when to leave.
It's like with anything in life.
You could go on a bad date with a weirdo and up at his
apartment, and the only difference is you wouldn't be
recording it.
ERIN KRAUSE: You really don't see them cross the line.
You see them almost so many times get to a point, and
that's what makes them so interesting, I think.
LAUREL NAKADATE: I think it is that push pull, though, and
sort of going up to the edge and not quite going over it,
and then, is it going to go, is it going to go?
And it doesn't.
That's, I think, part of the allure of the videos is that
you're not sure.
This could go anywhere, and where's it going?
Just us as viewers, when we're looking inside of their lives,
you start to feel sorry for them.
And in a lot of ways, it can be a little exploitative.
LAUREL NAKADATE: Yeah, I mean this question comes up a lot
with my work.
It's like, are you exploiting these men?
How much of you is just laughing at them, and how much
of you is actually having a moment with them?
I really believe that if they get joy out of the time that
we're together, that's something positive.
And I think if we enter all relationships thinking let's
enjoy what we're having right now, I think it everyone would
be a lot happier.
ERIN KRAUSE: But that's another thing is that
sometimes, you seem so distant in the videos, so disconnected
from what their reality is, that it makes it seem like
you're really an observer of this life, this sort of
pathetic situation and being able to control that.
LAUREL NAKADATE: I think I'm constantly trying to play with
them watching me watching me watching them
in this sort of--
all of the different mirrors that start getting placed up.
I'm like, I'm recording this, but they're watching me, and
they want something from me, but I want
something from them.
I think it's this sort of power play that ebbs and flows
throughout them that you're probably talking about.
Sometimes I'll look right into the cameras, and it's clear
that it's like, do you see what's happening here because
I see what's happening here?
And so this whole world can be going on behind me, but I'm
having this moment with the camera or this moment with the
viewers or this moment just with myself.