I very much enjoyed browsing all the many projects on Nina Katachadourian’s website. She has some of the most creative projects I have ever encountered!
The close interactions with nature present in most of her projects was extremely appealing to me. I particularly liked the group under “Confusing Animals.” One of the first ones I looked at was “Animal Crossdressing”. In this project she imagined a scenario where a prey animal might outsmart it’s predator by means of disguise. She sewed a snake costume for a rat so that it could blend in with a snake and not be eaten. She also sewed a giant rat costume so that the snake could be disguised as the rat. A very interesting outcome of this project was that the rat and snake she was using as subjects became friends! The snake continued to eat other rats but would not harm the rat from the project.
Another project she did which I find really cool was the Mended spider webs series. Here she found spider webs in the forest which were damaged and created man made “patches” out of thread to repair them. I find it extremely impressive that she could achieve this without accidently destroying the spider webs as she worked. Her thread patches were in patterns which looked exactly like natural spider web, except for being a thicker material, and bright red. In her final image, instead of creating a patch, she inserted words into the web so that it appeared that the spider was advertising ‘web repair services,’ Charlotte’s web style. I found this a very amusing and impressively executed project.
Another project combing nature and language which amused me was where she used caterpillars to spell out the words “Quit Using Us” which appeared consecutively following a photo display of her using the same caterpillars to create an artificial mustache on her own face. I have no idea how she managed to get them to hold still long enough to spell the whole word before letters crawled away!
A final project which I particularly enjoyed was a series of photographs where she strategically organized books so that the titles on the spines worked together to make statements or short stories. Sorted Books
Overall I found Nina Katchadourian to be an incredibly unique artist with an impressively diverse range of skills. Her projects incorporated video, photography, recorded sound, and old fashioned mixed media work. I never knew what to expect when I clicked a link on her site and I was continuously amused and surprised.