Born 1961 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
Lives and works in Copake, New York, United States
Mark Dion is an American conceptual artist best known for his use of scientific presentations in his installations. His work examines the manner in which prevalent ideologies and institutions influence our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. The job of the artist, according to him, is to "go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention". By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Dion questions the objectivity and authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society, tracking how pseudo-science, social agendas and ideology creep into public discourse and knowledge production. Some of his well-known works include Neukom Vivarium (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington.
Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences.
The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modelled on Wunderkabinetts of the sixteenth century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.
He has received numerous awards, including the ninth annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2001). He has had major exhibitions at Miami Art Museum (2006); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2004); the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2003); and Tate Gallery, London (1999). Neukom Vivarium (2006), a permanent outdoor installation and learning lab for the Olympic Sculpture Park, was commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum.
Cabinet of Marvels
190 × 130 × 48 cm
Ink on paper
62 × 48 cm
Insect net, used shovel, tree branch and rope
POSTCARD FROM BRUSSELS
with Elen Braga, Ludovic Beillard, Eli Cortiñas, Mark Dion, Filip Van Dingenen, Matthias Dornfeld, Charles Hascoët, Delphine Hennelly, Gerard Herman, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Klara Hobza, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Geert Marijnissen, Julien Saudubray
in Genoa, IT