Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Sculpture + Extended Media

First Advisor

Massa Lemu

Second Advisor

Kendall Buster

Third Advisor

Corin Hewitt

Fourth Advisor

Guadalupe Maravilla


This document is a collection of the ideas and research that drive my artistic practice. My research focuses on investigating the power structures, historical roots, and existential implications of the current Venezuelan economic crisis, one of the most drastic economic collapses of modern times. The ideological rifts created in the Cold War era created a deep anti-socialist sentiment that inhibits our ability to responsibly acknowledge global interdependence. I visualize collective belief systems that gain power from their proposed neutrality. I point to the existence of value beyond the parameters and measures of global capitalism that encourage dependence. I see the Venezuelan crisis as the failure of old forms of socialism to resist against the evolving forms of neoliberal capitalism.

My practice considers the present moment as the projected future of modernism and colonialism, with its accelerating time and its ideals of suppressing and surpassing materiality. I develop rituals that slow down this trajectory that seems to stop only in collapse and crisis. I contrast and recalibrate human time with geological time. My sculptural practice studies consumption and incorporation; the way everything is made up through incorporating or rejecting something else. I think of my gendered, sexualized, Latina body, as matter in an infinite process of integrating and disintegrating with the world. The moments where materialities meet image surfaces shed light on the complex ways images build empire, and the contradictions and power of visibility and invisibility. Sometimes I turn off the lights, and with touch, I resist the impulse to favor distanced sight as a supposedly objective form of knowing.


© Mariana Parisca Englert

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Included in

Fine Arts Commons