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Krist Gruijthuisjsen, Laura

Luxe Gallery
53 Stanton Street, 212-582-4425
East Village / Lower East Side
May 9 - June 19, 2007
Reception: Wednesday, May 9, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

A proposal by Nathalie Angles

LAURA is a double slide-projection installation merging several layers of narrativity that examines the notion of otherness in relation to the self as entity of site of projection. The construction of myth and its process unfold to the viewer as actions undertaken and what this sets in motion is revealed. The delving into personas such as Laura Albert underscores Gruijthuijsen’s larger concerns into the changing role and positioning of the contemporary artist and the fluctuating mechanisms of the art institution.

Gruijthuijsen’s first encounter with Laura Albert alias JT LeRoy occurred in January 2004 at the occasion of a VPRO documentary produced by the Dutch Television station. In the fall of 2006, Laura Albert gave an exclusive interview in The Paris Review magazine about her life before and during JT LeRoy.

JT, or Jeremy LeRoy, also known as Terminator was a teenage hustler who had been pimped out as a cross-dressed prostitute by his mother at truck stops throughout the South, until he landed on the streets of San Francisco in the early-to-mid-nineties.

In 1994, a literary phenomenon is born. By the age of 16, JT is published in Nerve, The New York Press, Spin and other anthologies. A year later, Rinaldi and Dunow at Crown launch the novel Sarah, and a collection of short stories in 2001 are made into a film. By his early twenties JT has been translated in twenty languages, is making movie deals, and writing the lyrics for a band, Thistle.

In 2000, the authenticity of JT begins to be questioned (no one has ever seen him, and his interviews are conducted exclusively by phone). JT begins to appear publicly wearing a wig and sunglasses. His notoriety is immediately embraced by Madonna, Courtney love and Winona Ryder. JT rises to fame.

In February 2006, the scam is revealed in the New York Times: JT Leroy is a fictive character, created by the San-Francisco-based writer Laura Albert. Laura’s sister in law is JT’s public impersonator.

In this installation, the viewer is confronted to the mind of one person as 3 narratives are layered: the life of Laura Albert up till the moment she encountered JT LeRoy, an interview with the fictive character JT Leroy, and excerpts from writings published.
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