Patricia Quill, (858)822-0661
An artist whose work addresses the politics of representation in the fields of history and science, Mark Dion never tires of discussing the institutions mandated to collect, define and represent the natural world. “Museums of history are one of the most essential sites for any investigation into how a dominant cultural group constructs and demonstrates its truth about nature,” says Dion. “My work is not really about nature, but rather it is a consideration of ideas of nature.”
“Mark Dion's hybrid form of artmaking engages many different disciplines not traditionally viewed as fine art,” says Jennifer Pastor, one of the Visiting Artist Series Faculty coordinators. “His work compliments UCSD's Visual Art Program's interest in cross-disciplinary conversations that is are rooted in research and experimentation.”
Much of Dion’s work reveals the absurdity of classification systems, which underlie our assumptions of the physical world–exploring how a subjective understanding of nature becomes established as history by a particular group of people at a particular time. Often working closely with scientists and non-art institutions alike, Dion mines the fields of ecology, botany, ethnography as well as natural history.
“The experience of his installations can be overwhelming,” says Nell McClister in a recent article in Bomb Magazine. “His meticulously detailed installations combine an informed environmental didacticism with a sophisticated, methodical deconstruction of the taxonomic systems that underlie natural sciences, social hierarchies and the structure of the art world.”
In addition to Dion’s lecture, he will also conduct studio visits and a tour/survey of two sites in San Diego with UCSD graduate students.
Dion has been commissioned to create works for Aldrich Museum of Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. He has exhibited in major museums and galleries worldwide, including solo exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Galleria Emi Fontana, Milan; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; and American Fine Arts, Co., New York.
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