Handmade, 2004

Hand made, Super 16 mm film, 5’30”
Hand made, HD video, 5’30”

Natacha Nisic presents an installation around a film entitled Hand-Made: Une Publicité, the first part of a film in progress, Hand-Made/Fait-Main, whose action is guided by the movement of the hands. Natacha Nisic thus completes her Catalogue of Gestures begun in 1994.

The camera follows the movement of the gestures; the framing, around tight shots on these gestures, lets glimpse some elements of landscapes, objects and places, as signs of a context to be determined. In its final version, this film will be composed of seven sequence shots of 4 to 5 minutes each, linked to a given place and situation.
The choice of these situations is based on a reflection on the production of images: hands and gestures are often staged in a coded way. Working on this type of representation is a way of composing with the strata of the image, strata made up of reminiscences, feelings of déjà vu or simple emotions. It is a work around the cliché: we all have in mind generic images of politicians shaking hands, erotic embraces, violence, etc.

The action of the film Hand-Made: An Advertisement is the hands as objects of seduction. Hands and gestures caught in the game of artifice.
The scene follows the continuum of an advertising shot for a new, healthy, natural, low-calorie hamburger; a pure, almost cosmetic model. What is visible is the before and after of the staging around the making of this photograph. All the gestures are those of the professionals involved in this shoot: the chef-decorator, the make-up artist, the food preparer. This millimetric and choreographic set-up is articulated around the figure of the hand detail model, the main character of this scene and the driving force behind the whole movement. It is a long movement of nearly five minutes from the confined, intimate dressing room where the make-up is done, through the dark corridors of the studio, and towards the central stage, lit by a bright, spread-out light, a “pure” light like the advertising cliché. Each gesture is captured in close-up, dissected to become a choreography. Repetitive, unconscious and practical gestures, they belong to the vocabulary of human behaviour that intrigues Natacha Nisic.

Phi Phong, the central character, is a “hand detail” model in advertising. In real life, she is a manicurist and beautician in a beauty salon. Natacha Nisic presents a documentary video of Phi Phong, Hand-Made: The Manicure, in her workplace.

In parallel, two photographs: the first, the advertising photograph, was taken during the filming and at the time of the shooting. It is a colour photograph in which we see the model facing the hamburger, eyes closed, in a quasi delight or “absence”. This photograph, the pretext and motif of the scene, is shown opposite the film projection. The second photograph shows Phi Phong, the manicurist, in her workplace, in the same pose as the first image.

Exhibition view – Galerie Renos Xippas, 2004

« Natacha Nisic films manners and states of mind. By focusing on the hands of her heroine Phi Phong, she translates the character of our time, which shines under the light of the performance. The movements are sensual and codified, they appear as modern vanities » Pierre-Evariste Douaire

text follows in, http://www.paris-art.com/artiste_detail-1805-nisic.html