Discussion Topic: Nina Katchadourian’s iPhone photos

Nina Katchadourian, Lavatory Portrait in the Flemish Style

What do you do when you’re stuck on a long plane ride without wi-fi or a good book? If you’re the performance artist Nina Katchadourian, you construct a good photo with airline magazines, sugar packets, or toilet paper, which she uses copious amounts of to construct ‘fancy’ headgear for her airplane bathroom portraits. Evoking the stiff and uncomfortable headdress seen on many Flemish portraits of women, Katchadourian creates Flemish-like hats out of the limited material available on your typical flight. This may remind you of Duchamp’s readymades and how he recycled material with an ironic twist. Explore Katchadourian’s website with her airplane bathroom portraits and compare them to an iconic Flemish portrait by Hans Memling, his stellar portrait of the young 14-year-old bride Maria Portinari in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What do you think of Katchadourian’s self-portraiture? What do you think she is saying about herself?

Hans Memling, Maria Portinari, c.1470

Seat Assignment: Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style

Link to Hans Memling’s portraits of Tommaso and Maria Portinari at the Met

A Video of Katchadourian’s Seat Assignment

Please post your responses by Saturday, April 13th.

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1 Response to Discussion Topic: Nina Katchadourian’s iPhone photos

  1. sreyes says:

    While I was watching the video of Nina Katchadourian: Seat Assignments, I noticed the way she used every day materials and objects like sugar, sandwiches, cashews, and even tic-tacs was very creative. But the pictures of her in the bathroom of the planes using her black scarf as a back drop and the protective paper toilet cover as a hat or head cover or whatever else she used it for was not as creative but very smart. I know most of these photos were to spend time on a plane doing something fun and entertaining for the artist. As for making herself famous off these photos, it is unlikely because she has other great art such as the one in her youtube video.

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