MA Studies > Fine art > Fine art alumnus > Natalia Calderon

Natalia Calderon


What is your research (essay) about?
My research focused on studying how personal and intimate traces build public space, and the ways we experience it by recognizing ourselves through these marks. I worked with the concept of belonging as core of my project. In the process of inhabiting a place, belonging engages both subject and space.

My interest in public space is based on studying it as a place that shows how people interact and negotiate. I differentiate between owning and belonging, using community and individuality. While 'owning' refers to having property (one can decide over it), 'belonging' is more complex. It involves communal decisions where negotiations (and thus agonism) take place. Finally, knowledge is generated in the agonistic confrontation. Imprints from these fractures were what I researched during this project.

Which findings do you consider most important?
Working with both theory and practice was the most important during my study and research at MaHKU. It enriched my work and pushed it forward to reach new knowledge, bringing closer new fields of knowledge and providing new tools of thought.

My work was inspired by different spatial perspectives, and marked my conceptual tours. My investigation was touched by
•    Henri Lefebvre’s conception of space as social production,
•    Irit Rogoff’s visual geography which presents images and visual productions as grounds to explore, as generators of knowledge,
•    the notion of the 'fold' proposed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari where the slit and the crack make possible that established and homogeneous facts can fold and hence arising a new dimension (line of flight), and, on the other hand,
•    the theory of Miwon Kwon that opens the debate from the white cube into site-specific art to the underlying importance of context in the artistic production.

Do you currently use the research findings?
Confronting public and intimate spheres, as well as experiencing the differences between Dutch and Mexican public space opened up new paths for my artistic production. Starting form public space as a melting pot where knowledge is produced out from differences, opened my possibilities to work not only within the artistic production field, but to use this knowledge and apply it in art education.

How do you look back at the year at MaHKU?
The year at MaHKU was an intense and fruitful time. I learned not only from my great and generous tutors, but also from my international colleagues, excellent artists. I look back at the year as a seed that is still growing through what I experience in the art world and the way I approach knowledge.