san-francisco

Nina Katchadourian, Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style #3, 2011, framed color photograph, 15 3/4 x 13 3/8".

Nina Katchadourian

Catharine Clark Gallery

Nina Katchadourian, Lavatory Self-Portrait in the Flemish Style #3, 2011, framed color photograph, 15 3/4 x 13 3/8".

Claustrophobic and rank, suffused with a clinical fluorescence that does nobody’s mirror reflection any favors: Few places rival the airplane bathroom for inhospitality. Most of us minimize our time there, or avoid it altogether; not so Nina Katchadourian, who has been lingering in skyborne commodes for the past two years—annexing them, along with tray tables, as makeshift studios, and calling herself and fellow passengers into service as models. “Seat Assignment,” 2010–, selections from which comprised her fifth solo show at Catharine Clark Gallery, includes hundreds of photographs, digital images, and videos made entirely in flight, using only materials readily available (a cellphone camera, SkyMall catalogues, freebie nuts).

This is a tidy conceptual premise, and—if one overlooks its implicit testament to an eroding distinction between work and leisure time, or even

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