Millay Colony for the Arts

Promoting the vitality of the arts and the development of writers, visual artists, and composers by providing a retreat for creative work.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Renowned Artist Nina Katchadourian to Lead Workshop at the Colony

Family: Artmaking with Nina Katchadourian
June 30 to July 2 2011

This subject is something that is often (un)comfortably close at hand, rich with potential, and complicated to work with. The workshop aims to take an objective view of the topic on one hand, by looking at the work of artists (Janine Antoni, Patty Chang, Richard Billingham, Sally Mann, Gillian Wearing and Neil Goldberg among others) who have taken it up from a variety of proximities, but also to delve into the deeply subjective. This presents challenges: how do you allow an unknown viewer access to a story you are so close to? How do you prevent the personal from becoming solipsistic and self-indulgent? Working with this subject can obviously be personal, but it can also be a way to explore broader subjects concerning genealogy, history and origin, and the question of what it means to "be related" to someone in the first place.

The workshop is not restricted to any one medium and a cross-disciplinary approach is welcomed. Although not required, participants are encouraged to bring family documents that hold particular allure from them as possible starting points to work from.

Nina Katchadourian works in a wide variety of media including sculpture, photography, video and sound. Several times, she has worked with her family directly in collaboration (such as in "Accent Elimination," where she and her parents worked with a professional voice coach to acquire each other's accents) or other times by examining a family document in depth ("The Nightgown Pictures," based on a photo-document made by her grandmother about Katchadourian's mother). Other projects, such as "The Genealogy of the Supermarket," looks at the way family is portrayed through the images of people that appear on common grocery store products. Katchadourian was born in Stanford, California and grew up spending every summer on a small island in the Finnish archipelago, where she still spends part of each year. She is based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PS1/MoMA, MASS MoCA, Artists Space and SculptureCenter in New York, the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. In 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph entitled All Forms of Attraction. Katchadourian is represented by Sara Meltzer gallery in New York and Catharine Clark gallery in San Francisco. More information on Katchadourian's work can be found at

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