Site and context are key influences on any work by Natalia Saegusa. Taking a cue from the brilliant setting of Annah Stretton - a glamorous store that showcases wonderful dresses for the fiercely feminine contemporary woman, the artist has undertaken a performative installation work that is both tricky, transformative and far more complex than it may first appear.
The title gives a hint at the process behind the work - Screen shot taken from Typewriter Training: "Basic Typing I: Methods" 1943 US Navy Training Filmrecreated using my antares parva typewriter full stop key.
Using her vintage typewriter as a drawing machine, Saegusa will make use of A4 paper and typing ribbon to create a pixelated image taken from found footage. The sheets of paper will be taped in a grid onto the window, creating a Lichtenstein-esque dot drawing using office supplies.
The (female) artist's invisible labour is transformed into a site specific lo-fi magic trick. Using a 1960's typewriter to laboriously transcribe a digital screen-grab into a grandiose analogue image, Saegusa presents the viewer with an image out of time.
There are several transformations taking place here; a conscious back and forth, a conversation across time perhaps. The work flits from the original analogue format to a digital clip on YouTube, from a moving image to a digital still and then back into analogue through the conduit of the artist's body. This series of actions creates something that is both analogue, digital and neither.
There is a sense of nostalgia present both in the artwork and the setting in which it sits. However neither fall into the trap of idealised sentimentality for the past. There is a keen sense of self awareness and framing evident in the work at the site. Annah Stretton may showcase 1950's silhouettes and hyper feminine attire, but as a brand they are strong, assertive, passionate and in control. Saegusa's use of the window as a site brings to mind the conscious construction of self and the act of marketing, displaying and trading on the ideal 'feminine'.
This work plays on the role of technology, language and gender in our lives and the interplay between what is seen and unseen, celebrated and unacknowledged.
Natalia Saegusa’s paintings, drawings, installations and photographs reconsider the state of existing relationships between our experiences of life and the arts. In previous work this has been evident in her use of post-industrial materials and their potential for transformation, establishing new and alternative lives within the space and context of the art gallery. Saegusa was a finalist in the Parkin Drawing Prize in 2013 and 2015 and is currently completing her MA at the Elam School of Fine Arts.