Natalia Marín · Spain · 2016 · 10’06’’
Video projection, Full HD, colour, loop, wooden cube, red led light
New Madrid is an essay about a failed utopia and a failed copy in the shape of a journey throughout the eight cities of Madrid in the United States. As I was putting together the project “Árboles” (about urban planning as a tool for colonisation and self-colonisation) alongside the Los Hijos collective, I found out about New Mexico's Madrid. Later I would also find seven other places named the same way located in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Maine. Developed in the context of a crisis, the piece had to be limited to that American country – considering that cities named like this can be found in several regions of the globe –, given that this was the last territory which made utopia possible, and that was conceived to enable new communal experiments which led to all kinds of religious and sociological experiments.
During this journey, which was designed to serve as an archive, an audiovisual inventory of all these places, I learned that they were all tinged, one way or another, by fatalism, and taken dow by the two economic crisis of the 20th and 21st centuries. And it was then that the idea of copy as failure surfaced. On the one hand, the difficulties with generating new spaces during urban planning: repetition, simultaneity, circularity (as Henri Lefebvre explained in “The Production of Space”), so typical of the North-American expansion. On the other hand, a more symbolic, literary, ironic and literal approach to the word Madrid, as though it were a curse.
Natalia Marín Sancho, born in Zaragoza in 1982, is a video artist and teacher. In 2008, she founded the experimental film collective Los Hijos, together with Javier Fernández Vázquez and Luis López Carrasco. “Los materiales”, her first full-length film was awarded the Jean Vigo Prize for Best Director at the Punto de Vista International Festival in 2010 and also received a Special Mention from the FIDMarseille jury. Her work has been screened at various international festivals and at exhibition spaces such as the MUSAC, Guggenheim Bilbao, Centre Pompidou, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and Anthology Film Archive. She has also participated in group exhibitions at the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture in San Sebastián, the PhotoEspaña and the La Casa Encendida, amongst others. As a teacher, she is currently working for the Escuela Internacional de San Antonio de Baños (Cuba), the Círculo de Bellas Artes and the ECAM (The Madrid Film School).