Mark Dion
Komodo National Park, Indonesia


Mark Dion

Mark Dion was born in 1961 in Massachusetts; he lives and works in Pennsylvania.

Dion is known for making art out of fieldwork, incorporating elements of biology, archaeology, ethnography, and the history of science, and applying to his artwork methodologies generally used for pure science. Traveling the world and collaborating with a wide range of scientists, artists, and museums, Dion has excavated ancient and modern artifacts from the banks of the Thames in London, established a marine life laboratory using specimens from New York’s Chinatown, and created a contemporary cabinet of curiosities exploring natural and philosophical hierarchies. His approach emphasizes illustration and accuracy but is charged with a biting undertone. Dion has a longstanding interest in exploring how ideas about natural history are visualized and how they circulate in society. Dion’s work has been presented at many U.S. and international museums and galleries, 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 Deutsches Museum, Bonn. Dion has been commissioned to create works for Aldrich Museum of Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Tate Gallery, London; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

“On just a few small rugged islands in Indonesia lives an animal so spectacular and formidable that I have been held under its powerful spell since childhood. I am speaking of an agile and strong apex predator, the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard.…Today I recognize that protection of this charismatic species also functions as an umbrella for the conservation of the entire National Park, a large and complex ecosystem that includes one of the world’s richest marine environments. For someone committed to the issues of the protection of biodiversity, this collaboration between Rare and my host, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, is a dream come true. I have never worked on a project closer to my heart.”

—Mark Dion, on the Human/Nature project

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Mark Dion Interview

Produced by Lidia Rossner and Alexander Rossner,