Artist Statement

Marina Potok

I am a multi-disciplinary artist, working in photography, video and mixed media/collage. While rooted in photographic practice, experimentation with materials, processes and composition is an essential ingredient in my work. I manipulate the still or moving images through juxtaposition or superimposition of figurative and abstract visual elements, language and sound into a newly constructed reality. Infused with humour, irony or a call for re-examination of the familiar or accepted ways of being, my work strives to capture the complex and conflicting nature of such themes as migration and urban geography, intimate relationships and family, work and production in a context which is both personal and universal. At times uncanny or otherwise unsettling, my work extends an invitation to the viewer to construct personal narratives by engaging with multiple layers of meaning vis-a-vis the viewer’s individual experience.

My current work in progress is titled ‘Psychogeographies’ and focuses on exploring the relationship between psyche and place. Psychogeography was formally defined by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals" (Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography, G. Debord, 1955). While Debord is credited with the commonly accepted definition of Psychogeography within the Situationist framework, its roots go much deeper (D. Defoe, W. Blake, de Quincy, etc.), but more importantly wider – impossible to apprehend and based entirely on personal significance attributed by an individual in interaction with their environment. Cultural elements, current events and the sharp edged reality of urban geography and pace of life join forces to shape the private experiences characterised by both emotions and behaviours. The very materiality of contemporary urban landscape, transitory like its inhabitants, slips through our conscious awareness leaving only traces of personal attachments and memories. As a double-immigrant and a traveller, I endeavour to map the complex relationships that I enter into with each of my host cities, each not unlike an intimate relationship between two people.


Marina Potok was born in Ukraine, former Soviet Union in 1974. In 1989, just prior to the sweeping political changes in her home country, her family immigrated to the US and settled in Colorado. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995, Marina lived in New York and travelled extensively over the course of 12 years. Since 2007, Marina has been living and working in London, where she maintains a studio at Arbeit Studios in Hackney Wick.

Marina has earned her MFA from the School of Visual Arts Photography, Video and Related Media Program in May 2003. In addition to art, Marina has studied psychology and economics and frequently references these disciplines in her work.

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