In May 2005, Mark Dion traveled to Komodo and Rinca islands inspired by a childhood fascination with the Komodo dragon. Once at the site, however, the artist’s attention was captured by the rangers at Komodo National Park who guided and instructed him. He was impressed with their knowledge of the park’s ecosystem and their dedication to the work, but surprised by their lack of resources. In 2007, Dion returned to Komodo to create a functional work of art: a supply cart for the rangers containing needed items such as wildlife and ecology manuals, flashlights, batteries, and maps. Local craftspeople and the rangers themselves helped to construct the cart, designed by Dion, and added traditional decorative elements to it. Dion created a replica of the cart for exhibition.
“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
Produced by Lidia Rossner and Alexander Rossner, http://dmovies.net/.