Master Fine Art

Recent Sculptures

Víctor Santamarina
Project Research / Hybrid Publishing
Major Master Fine Art
Year Graduation Project

Nomination: Master Research & Hybrid Publishing Award 2018

Recent Sculptures, five plaster works included in Tripping Autonomy, the Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art graduate exhibition, are the result of my ongoing research into the relationship between art and life through the making process.

I develop my research through the sculpture. I use the material and spatial qualities of the medium to deepen a dialogue with the context that surrounds it during the making process. The interaction of making and context allows for interferences, elements, and uncontrolled events to manifest and perform. It is a method that creates a dynamic interface between the two fields.

These sculptures operate through the processes and materials of molding and casting, techniques which reproduce objects by the making of a new one, the mold. The mold becomes a new source of forms and ideas. To develop these ideas, I remove from the process the only part of it that maintains old sculptural hierarchies: the object reproduced, the model.

By taking away the traditional focus of production, the model, and simultaneously following the steps of the mold-making process, the agency of the liquid plaster come forward. The repetitive and reproductive qualities of the mold rebound through the absence of a model. They start to register the surrounding context through their own materiality, first in the making process and, later, by invading the world outside of the working space of the studio.


These conceptual and material streams of the work leak into each other and swap the nucleus of the mold for the surface of the sculpture, creating an ambiguous space that dissolves the boundaries between figure and ground.

The models removed from the making process of Recent Sculptures are familiar objects and people. But the intrusion of my context into my practice does not only occur because I use elements from my surroundings as models or in how I title the individual works. I’ve also replaced the traditional element that originally features in the mouth of molds with a cocktail glass. This shift in process transforms the reading of the sculptures and the scenario they ‘depict’. It creates ambiguity around the interactive spaces of display and the spaces of making. Have the sculptures been made in a bar? Or am I serving them drinks in the studio?

My research into materials is complemented by the writing in my graduate thesis ’Curing Time’, where I self-reflexively mirror my writing and making processes, both formally and conceptually. Through close and sustained attention to formal and conceptual issues in making and writing I have aimed to open a space for rethinking contemporary forms like sculpture, their placement in our lives, and our interactions with them.