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.Nina Katchadourian is an artistic opportunist, to be sure.
Armed with nothing other than a couple of scarves, a beret, the airline seat pillow, a few artfully arranged tissues, and a face that could rank alongside Maria Falconetti's in expressiveness, she reaches toward the sublime while balanced above the toilet bowl on a long-haul flight. I am awestruck with admiration.