Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2016

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type



The undertaking to render an experience tangible reveals the inadequacy of the techniques and technologies of representation to transcribe the perception of ubiquitous, yet unnoticed, spaces in the urban environment. The work of Madeline Marak contemplates overlooked and forgotten spaces that are unnoticed by busy, preoccupied minds. The work advocates for slowing down… considering… and being present. This thesis refers to writer Rebecca Solnit and her anthologies on the subjects of walking, wandering, and getting lost to advocate for activities that preoccupy the mind and facilitate freethinking. The humanist geographer Yi-Fu Tuan is quoted in argument for a direct engagement with a space. Marak’s work mirrors the desire to express the felt experience of being in a space that is neither fully human-constructed nor fully natural, negotiating the margin between what we experience and what we think to know of a space. The theorists Georges Perec and John Berger, as well as the artist Uta Barth, are referenced to expound on the act of seeing; contemplating what we look at and how we see. Marak uses the mediums of photography and painting to investigate a perceptive experience. Artist Richard Diebenkorn and collaboration Peter Fischli and David Weiss work similarly to Marak by translating the experience of a place into images. Ultimately, the representations function separately from the experience in that they cultivate patience and consider the banality of everydayness to affirm the practice of noticing the unnoticed.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Committee Member

Lisa Bulawsky

Committee Member

Lisa Bulawsky

Committee Member

Jennifer Colten-Schmidt

Committee Member

Christine Abbott

Artist's Statement

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