Airplane Lavatory Self-Portraits, in the Flemish Style
What do you do on long flights? Read a book or watch the inflight movie?
Not Nina Katchadourian! The artist (previously
featured on Neatorama) made self-portraits of herself in the lavatory,
posing in the styles of the Old Masters, by using toilet papers and towels:
While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously
put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture
in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture.
I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take
advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing
that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using
the lavatory on the 14-hour flight.
I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by
the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory
Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style.
I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the
wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these
portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory’s
own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone.