Maddie Miller & Emily Gadzinski
Breaking and Entering

RESIDENCY / May – June, 2016
EXHIBITION / July, 2016

Maddie Miller and Emily Gadzinski have reunited for their second artistic partnership as Makeshift’s latest residents. Their previous exhibition, Daybreak, featured a collaborative installation of a stark bedroom scene that explored themes such as comfort and intimacy. In their current exhibition Breaking and Entering, Maddie and Emily seek to threaten the relative safety of their quiet bedroom. Through a combination of immersive installation, audio projection, and printmedia, the two continue investigating common interests while engaging in individualistic, yet complimentary, studio practices.

Upon first entering the space, we’re presented with an otherwise nondescript depiction of a living room, colored almost entirely pink. This particular shade references ‘Baker-Miller Pink’, a somewhat controversial color that some psychologists suggest has the curious ability to reduce, among other things, aggression and anxiety. Historically, prison cells, drunk tanks, and even classrooms have been painted this color in an effort to produce more desirable behavior. In Maddie and Emily’s living room installation, also titled Breaking and Entering, various audio excerpts from conducted interviews with volunteer participants emanate from a small radio. The roughly 7-minute audio loop features a fragmented flood of personal stories that recount situations when the storyteller, or their environment, was considered vulnerable, compromised, or left completely violated. Audiences can sit, listen, and consider how the oral accounts, combined with assertive monochromatic surroundings, affect their physical or emotional responses. And although the mechanism behind ‘Baker-Miller Pink’ implies a form of prescribed determinism in our lives, challenging stories like the ones heard here often result in the enduring and conflicting desire for human agency or control.

In the next room, an empty cage-like structure, titled Trespass, hangs from the ceiling. Constructed with multi-purpose plastic fencing, the sculpture’s scale and confrontational placement dominates one half of the gallery space, resulting in a narrow path around much of its perimeter. In opposition to ‘the pink room’, Trespass lacks a visible entry or exit point, asserting itself as a symbol for the impenetrable or perhaps inescapable places in our lives; it’s an ominous and rather imposing physical representation of these literal and figurative spaces. Maddie and Emily remind us however that we have the ability to safely navigate these barriers through reflection and critical exchange – endowing us, as viewers at least, with some agency after all.


Breaking and Entering 
Paint, sound, found objects

Plastic fence

Breaking and Entering
Monoprint, screenprint (variable edition of 12)
16 x 20

Monoprint (edition of 1)
20 x 24


Maddie Miller currently resides in Kalamazoo, MI, where she recently graduated from Western Michigan University with her BFA in Printmedia. Her work explores the relationship of the self to domestic spaces, considering the overlooked architectural elements of these spaces over time.

Emily Gadzinski recently received a BFA in Printmaking with a second emphasis in Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University. Her life, much like her artist statement, is under construction.