Natasha Manners’ present work focuses on people’s connection to or dislocation from place. This follows on from her previous work dealing with the negotiable boundaries between a human and an architectural cohabitation of space. Constantly influenced by the figures of the migrant, refugee, homemaker, traveller and explorer, Manners’ recently produced work makes reference to the phenomenon of developing place.
By filming her own interactions with the domestic environment – crawling backwards under an armchair, as in Under Chair, or by pasting rudimentary drawings of domestic features over films, as in Searching – Manners is attempting to re-explore particular spaces by rupturing their perceived narratives. Such acts form part of her attempt to forge more primal connections with parts of her environment, as a way of dealing with her feelings of disconnectedness from both a country she resides in and one she left.
‘A Woman’s Touch’
2015. HD colour video, single channel, sound. 2:16 minutes.
In A Woman’s Touch, various domestic surfaces are licked in a manner that evokes the methodical repetition of housework. The piece pokes fun at the historical position of women as homemakers, as the tongue is used simultaneously to clean and dirty the space. The video seeks to confound notions of female purity by evoking the abject qualities of the mouth – both of the subject and the viewer. Furthermore, the piece engages with male notions of territorial marking in the trail of saliva left behind by the tongue to reframe female domination of the home.