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Monday, February 21, 2011

"Fever Dreams" -- Films, Videos, Talk by Provocative Artist Laurel Nakadate This Week

Posted on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM

click to enlarge A still from Stay the Same Never Change
  • A still from Stay the Same Never Change

A young and heart-stoppingly sexy woman meets an older stranger at random on the street. They go back to the stranger's house. They dance. They gradually remove most of their clothes. Then all of their clothes. One of them seems very lonely and naive, the other obviously in control. The whole experience is caught on video. A series of such encounters ensues. What would you think if we told you the young woman had initiated the encounters, and the older strangers were the lonely and naive ones? You'd probably think it was Laurel Nakadate, and you'd be right.

"It doesn't sound good, does it?" she once asked an interviewer. "I meet strangers on the street, then I go home with them and make a video." The video artist, photographer, and filmmaker loves to turn expectations regarding power, sexuality, and ideas of "hunter and hunted" on their head. She's in your face but she's not too cocky or over-the-top. She induces viewers to question their own assumptions. Which is to say, she's not Courtney Love.

In "Fever Dreams," presented by the San Francisco Film Society and screening Thursday at the Roxie, you'll see work by Nakadate that's closer to David Lynch than Lydia Lunch. Stay the Same Never Change combines elements such as fireworks, young spectators in bright colors, and men wearing digital black strips over their eyes. It also has truckloads of stillness and silence.

The Wolf Knife is another slow-moving trip through quiet desperation starring two heart-stoppingly sexy young women who aren't Nakadate. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone provides a soundtrack that completes the trifecta.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. Nakadate will speak and answer questions at the California College of the Arts. Starting the same night and continuing through the following Wednesday, March 2, is a Nakadate video crawl in the Mission. Her shorter works can be viewed for free at four locations, including the Roxie, The Summit, Artists Television Access, and Explorist International.

For more events in San Francisco this weekend and beyond, check out our calendar section.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF
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