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

Columbus Museum of Art at The Pizzuti

August 28, 2021–April 22, 2022

Nina Katchadourian’s To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World is an immersive and deeply personal work about resourcefulness, hope, and creative capacity under duress.

In June 1972, a pod of orcas sank the Robertson family’s schooner, Lucette, leaving four adults and two children adrift in an inflatable raft with an even smaller dinghy in tow behind them. The father of the family, Dougal Robertson, kept a logbook that became the basis of the bestselling Survive the Savage Sea (1973), a remarkable tale of survival that has fascinated the artist Nina Katchadourian since childhood. For this project, Katchadourian interviewed the family’s oldest son, Douglas Robertson, over a period of thirty-eight days that corresponded with the timeline of their harrowing ordeal.

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 fifty hours of audio recordings. The galleries 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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