Nina Katchadourian
Our accents, ourselves

Nina Katchadourian

Artist Nina Katchadourian is a keen observer and is fascinated by the ways in which things intersect. She’s made projects in which she has created spider webs to see if real spiders would live there, she’s translated the popping of corn into Morse Code and one of her more recent projects looks at ethnic background and cultural acclimation. Nina lives in New York and every day she comes across posters advertising courses in "accent elimination". Both her father—a Lebanese born, French educated, Armenian man—and her mother—a Finnish woman who speaks many languages—have very distinct accents. For this project, she invited her parents to work with a speech coach to try and eliminate their accents as she conversely tried to adopt theirs. The aptly titled Accent Elimination reflects "the tricky maneuvering between the desire to preserve the distinctive marks of one's culture, on one hand, and to decrease them in order to seem less foreign, on the other."