I don't remember exactly where I first heard of Laurel Nakadate. But I do know I loved her work as soon as I saw it.
Her biggest projects were photos and videos of people she met through online communities and personals. Most of those people were men who were willing to let their meetings be documented on film. What followed were strange, touching, scary and intriguing photos of people who were lonely and somewhat disconnected from life. Nakadate is also a subject of these series frequently photographed in vulnerable situations. Somehow she managed to turn the depiction of herself into the aggressor, the instigator and the predator not the victim. Her work explores the sorrow in people who have been or feel passed by and are awkward at making connections. They also highlight the subtle sexual power plays between men and women. Somehow the material feels more explosive due to that fact. Make no mistake these photos are about a predator and prey. But instead of it being the older wiser man and the young girl, it is the opposite. Nakadate's work is like a play on Joyce Carol Oates' frightening story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been".