In the opening scene of Julia Leigh’s debut film Sleeping Beauty, Lucy (Emily Browning), our beautiful college-student protagonist, serves as a medical test subject. She leans her head back as the doctor slowly threads a tube down her throat, then fills a balloon in her chest with air while she holds the tube in place.
The temptation to dismiss multimedia artist Laurel Nakadate as a wallowing narcissist, a sub-Jackass-level prankster, or an emotional terrorist is strong. She appears as all those things in the retrospective of her work at P.S. 1, inviting the audience’s contempt as well as their lascivious stares.