Natalia Marín (Zaragoza, 1982) is video artist and teacher. Holder of a degree in Audiovisual Communication from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in 2008 she founded experimental film collective Los Hijos together with Javier Fernández Vázquez and Luis López Carrasco.
Her first full-length film Los materiales won the Jean Vigo Best Director Prize at the 2010 Punto de Vista International Film Festival and a Mention Spéciale at FID Marseille.
Her work has appeared regularly at international festivals and art centers including MUSAC, Guggenheim Bilbao, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Anthology Film Archives in New York. She has also taken part in group exhibitions at Tabakalera Centro Internacional de Cultura Contemporánea, PhotoEspaña, and La Casa Encendida, among others.
As a teacher, she is currently working at the Escuela Internacional de San Antonio de Baños (Cuba), and the Círculo de Bellas Artes and ECAM film school in Madrid.
New Madrid, 2016
The New Madrid project builds on my work creating an audiovisual inventory of the eight American towns named Madrid, in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York and Maine.
Each in its own way marked by fate, battered by the economic crises of the 20th and 21st centuries. This idea of duality, the duplication of names, fuelled the desire to travel to this country, the USA, the last great territory to be conquered, the last possible testing ground for utopia, for new societies and new community experiences that would lead to all kinds of utopian-religious experiments. The project also reflected the formal ambition to generate a new imaginary space made out of the fragments of the rest, a product of the experience of those failed utopias.
New Madrid is an experimental essay on the endemic difficulties of producing new spaces. These eight Madrids, some of them long gone, illustrate the problem discussed by Henri Lefebvre in The Production of Space and which comes up time and again in today’s urban design.
The reading of texts by Lefebvre, journalist Bianca Bosker, philosopher Jean Baudrillard, architect Robert Venturi and sociologist Lewis Mumford and, in a more literary vein, the inventories of Georges Perec, definitively give the piece its essayistic nature. New Madrid, as such, is less about the morphological and historical description of each Madrid and more about, on the one hand, constructing a text that deals with the utopian conception of the city and the problems – repetition, circularity, simultaneity – that inevitably beset it, and, on the other, the fatality of the simulacrum: any attempt at repetition is doomed to failure, the copy condemned to failure.
If we treat the Madrids poetically as copies, this condition owes to the value of equivalence, the radical negation of the sign as value and, therefore, the elimination of its referent.
Finally, a new, perfect town emerges, impossible to copy. New Madrid.