With the help of the audience, Natali demonstrated how to take a photograph with a rotary phone. I got to participate as a “Snake Handler” (which everyone knows is mandatory when you develop a Rotory Phone photograph) in this clever, witty and totally whimsical performance Natali created objects and situations as solutions to real and imaginary problems. Getting to know Natali just a little bit I have a feeling that the show never ends.
Natali’s contraptions romanticize the archetype of the amateur inventor, who works with rudimentary knowledge and avid curiosity. Mostly impractical, they allude to needs or desires pertaining to the imaginary realm, where humor and absurdity start to make sense, where they become pure joy. Her puppets also rely on humor and absurdity; they blend in with reason to reach an odd “normality”. By using dead and live animals as puppets, she stretches the usual definition of puppet as an object that is being animated, blurring the line between life and death. Using animals as puppets also questions the hierarchy of animals in a human-centric system and the projection of human qualities onto the animal realm.