Nina lying in Ednamair.jpg

Nina Katchadourian

To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World

Past
Jul 8 – Aug 5, 2022
London
 
Exhibition Details:

Nina Katchadourian
To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World
Jul 8 – Aug 5, 2022

Gallery:

5 Hanover Square
London

Press:

Press Release

Connect:

@pacegallery
@ninakatchadourian

Above: Nina Katchadourian lying “in the dinghy” © Nina Katchadourian

Pace is pleased to announce To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World, Nina Katchadourian’s first exhibition in the London gallery. Marking the American artist’s first solo show in the UK in nearly a decade, this exhibition is the result of an extensive investigation of and direct engagement with a true story that has fascinated the artist since childhood.

Katchadourian’s multidisciplinary practice takes many forms, from video, drawing, photography, and performance to sculpture and sound-based work. Regardless of the discipline, Katchadourian’s guiding force is an intense curiosity that in this exhibition focuses on themes of resourcefulness, creative capacity under duress, hope, and care.

To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World is a response to the experiences described in Survive the Savage Sea (1973) by Dougal Robertson, a book Katchadourian encountered aged seven and has reread nearly every year since. The book recounts the story of how Robertson, his wife, three of their children, and a friend survived for 38 days adrift in a tiny dinghy in the Pacific Ocean after a pod of orcas attacked and sank their boat. By her own description, Katchadourian has been “possessed” by this extraordinary story for most of her life.
Early in the global lockdown of 2020, Katchadourian got in touch with the eldest son, Douglas Robertson, and initiated a daily exchange that lasted from 15 June to 22 July 2020 — the exact time period of the shipwreck in 1972. Their 38-day conversation took place across a series of daily, recorded phone calls from the artist’s home in Berlin to Robertson’s home in London. Just as her mother first read the account to her as a child, Katchadourian now heard Survive the Savage Sea recounted to her by one of the survivors. Katchadourian and Robertson discussed the details of each day’s events, as well as deeper questions around the mental shift from rescue to survival, and how improvization and resourcefulness function in a situation where the stakes could not be higher.

The installation transforms the gallery space into ocean and vessel for both the story of the shipwreck and the intimate conversation between Robertson and Katchadourian. To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World invites viewers into a personal-museological exhibition of videos, sculptures, photographs, drawings, text message exchanges, and excerpts from the nearly 50 hours of audio recordings. For Katchadourian, the Robertsons’ ingenuity under pressure is centeral to the story’s magnetism and has deep ties to the artist’s ongoing exploration of the relationship between creativity and constraint.

There is particular resonance to the subject of a shipwreck at this moment in time when so many have experienced isolation and uncertainty, unsure of what rescue and survival will require. The title of the exhibition is a phrase from one of the interviews, where Douglas Robertson expresses his feeling of disbelief at the sight of the ship that rescued them, refusing to believe it was possible even once the ship had turned their way. When Katchadourian asks at what point he finally believed it, he answers, “The rope…To feel something that was not us, that was not of our world — that was so good.”

This exhibition takes place on the 50th anniversary of the shipwreck during the very time period when the castaways were adrift. It will be the first time that Katchadourian and the survivors meet in person.

 
Orientation Video

Nina Katchadourian's To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World

Nina Katchadourian's Orientation Video introduces viewers to the central story that then unfolds further in the exhibition.

 

Featured Works

Equator Drawing
Nina Katchadourian, Equator Drawing #2, 2020, paper-covered wire painted with gouache, 9-1/2" × 13-1/4" (24.1 cm × 33.7 cm), sheet 12-1/2" × 16-1/4" × 1-5/8" (31.8 cm × 41.3 cm × 4.1 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Equator Drawing #3, 2020, paper-covered wire painted with gouache, 9-1/2" × 13-1/4" (24.1 cm × 33.7 cm), paper 12-1/2" × 16-1/4" × 1-5/8" (31.8 cm × 41.3 cm × 4.1 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Equator Drawing #6, 2020, paper-covered wire painted with gouache, 12-1/2" × 12-1/2" (31.8 cm × 31.8 cm), paper
Nina Katchadourian, Equator Drawing #7, 2020, paper-covered wire painted with gouache, 12-1/2" × 12-1/2" (31.8 cm × 31.8 cm), paper
Savaging the Sea
Nina Katchadourian, Savaging the Sea #3, 2020, watercolor and gouache on Carta Pura watercolor paper, 9-1/2" × 13-1/4" (24.1 cm × 33.7 cm), paper 12-1/2" × 16-1/4" × 1-5/8" (31.8 cm × 41.3 cm × 4.1 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Savaging the Sea #23, 2020, watercolor and gouache on Carta Pura watercolor paper, 9-1/2" × 13-1/4" (24.1 cm × 33.7 cm), paper 12-1/2" × 16-1/4" × 1-5/8" (31.8 cm × 41.3 cm × 4.1 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Savaging the Sea #30, 2020, watercolor and gouache on Carta Pura watercolor paper, 9-1/2" × 13-1/4" (24.1 cm × 33.7 cm) 12-1/2" × 16-1/4" × 1-5/8" (31.8 cm × 41.3 cm × 4.1 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Savaging the Sea #38, 2020, gouache on Hahnemuhle paper, 27-1/2" × 39" (69.9 cm × 99.1 cm), paper 32-1/2" × 44" × 1-5/8" (82.6 cm × 111.8 cm × 4.1 cm), framed
Orientation Video
Nina Katchadourian, Orientation Video, 2020, single channel video with sound, overall installed dimensions variable
Wire Animals
Nina Katchadourian, Wire Sea Turtle, 2020, paper-covered wire, 35 cm × 46 cm × 75 cm (13-3/4" × 18-1/8" × 29-1/2")
Nina Katchadourian, Male Dorado 2, 2022, paper-covered wire, 50 cm × 110 cm × 42 cm (19-11/16" × 43-5/16" × 16-9/16")
Nina Katchadourian, Wire Flying Fish #4, 2020, paper-covered wire, 3" × 15-1/2" × 11" (7.6 cm × 39.4 cm × 27.9 cm)
Nina Katchadourian, Wire Flying Fish #5, 2020, paper-covered wire, 8.9 cm × 38.1 cm × 27.9 cm (3-1/2" × 15" × 11")
Paper Animals
Nina Katchadourian, Sea Turtle #2, 2020, gouache and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 91 cm × 83 cm (35-13/16" × 32-11/16")
Nina Katchadourian, Shark #2, 2020, gouache and watercolor on Fabriano Paper, 174 cm × 62.5 cm (68-1/2" × 24-5/8")
Nina Katchadourian, Dorado #2, 2020, gouache and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 120 cm × 34.7 cm (47-1/4" × 13-11/16")
Nina Katchadourian, Dorado #5, 2020, gouache and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 105 cm × 26 cm (41-5/16" × 10-1/4")
Featured Works
Nina Katchadourian, Usual Disposition of Bodies in the Raft at Night vs Disposition of Bodies in the Dinghy "Ednamair", 2020, gouache, watercolor, ink, carbon paper, and red thread on Hahnemuhle, 42-1/2" × 30-1/2" (108 cm × 77.5 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Lucy’s Sampler, 2020, multiple plate intaglio (collagraph, drypoint), pochoir, and letterpress on Rives BFK 280gsm paper, 21" × 19-1/2" (53.3 cm × 49.5 cm), paper framed, 24-1/4" × 22-1/2"
Nina Katchadourian, The Ship That Didn't See Us, 2020, single-channel video, overall installed dimensions variable
Nina Katchadourian, We Saw Ourselves in Your Rescue Photo, 2020, C-print, 18-1/4" × 22-3/4" (46.4 cm × 57.8 cm), framed
Nina Katchadourian, Douglas's Fresh Fruit Salad, 2021, single channel video, overall installed dimensions variable
Learn more about the exhibition or series above by reaching out to londoninfo@pacegallery.com
 

Installation Views

 

Installation Views from Columbus Museum of Art

 
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About the Artist

Nina Katchadourian (b. 1968, Stanford, California) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes video, performance, sound, sculpture, photography, and public projects.

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