Mark Dion (b. Massachusetts, 1961) 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 fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkammern of the 16th Century, present atypical orderings of objects and specimens. By locating the roots of environmental politics and policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society. On the occasion of ‘Reconnaissance’, his solo show at the Brussels gallery Waldburger Wouters, Dion will speak at WIELS about his recent work and the use of 3D printing in his practice.
Talk supported by LUCA School of Arts and WIELS.