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Cerca Series: Nina Katchadourian at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Nina Katchadourian, Zoo (installation view), 2008, DVD, 19-channel video installation. Photographs by Pablo Mason.

SAN DIEGO, CA.- Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presents Cerca Series: Nina Katchadourian, on view through July 6, 2008. For more than 15 years, New York artist Nina Katchadourian has investigated codes of expression, language, and translation, creating a body of work that emphasizes equally successful communicative exchanges as miscommunication, misreadings, and illegibility. Born in California to her Finnish-Swedish mother and Armenian-Turkish father, Katchadourian’s work often links language and signage to heritage and lineage.

Cerca Series: Nina Katchadourian will present the six-channel video piece Accent Elimination (2005), a work that explores cultural assimilation and speech as heirloom. Inspired by posters advertising "accent elimination" courses, the artist worked with her parents and a professional speech improvement coach for several weeks in order to "neutralize" her parents' accents and then learn each of their distinct accents herself. The multi-channel piece documents the process of unlearning and relearning the three of them underwent, revealing their struggle to hear and imitate something so familiar yet so difficult to reproduce.

The other work in the exhibition, entitled Zoo (2007), consists of footage shot in eight different zoos over the past six years. It is presented at MCASD Downtown as a 19-channel projection and monitor installation that will occupy the entire Royston Gallery at 1001 Kettner. Footage of various animals and zoo settings throughout the world is edited to recreate an artificial animal environment marked by visual as well as acoustic recordings that play concurrently to create a sense of disorientation and disjunction.

Cerca Series: Nina Katchadourian is made possible by a grant from the LLWW Foundation and gifts to MCASD's Annual Fund. Programs at MCASD Downtown are made possible, in part, by grants from The James Irvine Foundation, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, and the County of San Diego.

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