One look at artist Laurel Nakadate, and you’d think those long brown locks and seductive poses were straight out of an American Apparel ad. However, Nakadate isn’t being directed to be sexy at all. Here, she calls the shots. Her latest exhibition, Fever Dreams at the Crystal Motel, features photographs and videos in which she is primarily the sole subject, posing in bikinis or underwear atop a horse, next to a truck, or on the floor as a pervy old man watches—you get the drift—with backdrops ranging from dingy motel rooms to open spaces of the American West. For the final touch, she gathered anonymous middle-aged men she found on Craigslist, covered their hands with fingerprinting ink, and then passed her seductive photos around to them, cementing their greasy smears on the pictures forever.

July 3-24, 2009