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TO JUNE 17
The basement-porn look has been done to death. What’s the fun in images of barely legal bodies now that the retail clothier American Apparel has spammed the nation’s urban spaces with its gonzo-peepshow ads? It would seem that the illicit love den has been pretty well picked over, yet Laurel Nakadate somehow emerges with generally electric photographs. In “Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind” at the Adamson Gallery, the New York–based artist takes it all off—all over. The show features alluring images of budget-hotel Americana through photographs and video shot in both hotel rooms and train cabins over the course of a monthlong Amtrak furlough. In an untitled photo taken at Heartbreak Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., a gold-framed Elvis photograph hangs over a bed on which Nakadate sprawls, wearing a scowl to rival the King’s. Throughout her trip, Nakadate tosses her panties from the train and photographs them, leaving a trail through the American landscape—a playful realization of the voyeuristic relationship between viewer and object. Though Nakadate poses as the typical nymphet, she strives to establish herself as a nymphet with a camera—that is, an object who also objectifies. The exhibition is on view from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, to Saturday, June 17, at the Adamson Gallery, 1515 14th St. NW, Suite 202. Free. (202) 232-0707. (Kriston Capps)