Nina Katchadourian: To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World

Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art

Opens August 28, 2021
Member Preview Day: August 27, 11:00 AM–6:00 PM

Event Not to Miss
Artist talk: Nina Katchadourian
August 27
3:00 – 5:00 PM
Columbus Museum of Art
Join Nina Katchadourian for a discussion of this immersive and deeply personal work about resourcefulness, hope, and creative capacity under duress.


An immersive and deeply personal work about resourcefulness, hope and creative capacity under duress, Nina Katchadourian’s To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World is fitting as the museum and the world emerges from crisis. In June 1972, the Robertson family was cast adrift in a lifeboat and dinghy when a pod of orcas sank the schooner Lucette on which they lived. Their remarkable tale of survival was first recounted in Dougal Robertson’s bestselling Survive the Savage Sea (1973), a book that has fascinated the artist since childhood. For this project, Katchadourian interviewed the family’s oldest son, Douglas Robertson, over a period of 38 days that corresponded with the timeline of their harrowing ordeal.

Featuring Katchadourian’s life-size paper models of an orca, as well as every animal the Robertsons caught and ate, 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. The galleries, painted deep blue, become a vessel for the story of the shipwreck and the intimate conversation between Robertson and Katchadourian. At a moment when so many have endured loss, isolation and uncertainty, To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World is an inspiring story of connection, creativity and endurance.

Katchadourian’s work is in public and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Blanton Museum of Art, Morgan Library, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Margulies Collection, and Saatchi Gallery. She has won grants and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, Grönkvistska Foundation, and the Nancy Graves Foundation. Her repertoire of work includes video, performance, sound, sculpture, photography and public projects. Katchadourian lives and works in Brooklyn and Berlin, and she is a Clinical Full Professor on the faculty of NYU Gallatin. She is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery and Pace Gallery.

Image credit: Nina Katchadourian, installation detail of To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World, 2020. Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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