Mark Dion

Encyclomania

Mark Dion Encyclomania
5.7.
17.8.2003
Kunstverein Hannover

For more than a decade, the skeletons, stuffed bears and bisons, as well as the scientific categorizations and ecological tables by the American artist Mark Dion (born 1961 in New Bedford, Massachusetts) belong to the most fascinating eye-catchers in international exhibitions. In the show Mark Dion – Encyclomania, the Kunstverein Hannover presents an overview of Dion's sensuous and theoretical installations and drawings since 1992, presenting a comprehensive panorama of the artist's diverse aesthetic concepts.

Below the surface of seductive presentations that utilize the melancholic charm of dusty old museums of natural history, Dion unfurls multifaceted examinations of our environment and its portrayal. His installations – part circus booth, part academic/historical – appear allegorical, humoresque or ironic only at first sight. His view of nature – complexly represented and formed –, are primarily concerned with the concepts of nature and society that lay hidden behind them. Mark Dion's “place sensitive” works do not distinguish between the South American rain forests, the “white cube” of the museum or Hamburg\'s Herrengraben Fleet. The installations, journeys and scientific experiments encircling Dion\'s aesthetic concept consistently view a complex project that expands aesthetical boarders into political, social and ecological areas. Dion’s interdisciplinary artistic method consciously places itself at the crossroads of diverse discourses in the field of contemporary art.

On the occasion of the exhibition Mark Dion – Encyclomania, the Kunstverein Hannover is organizing a two-week project in association with the art faculty of the “Fachhochschule Hannover” in the Lower Saxon State Museum (Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover). Under the supervision of Mark Dion and the museum curators, fine arts students will “capture” the museum's collections: The students will choose objects from the departments of art, archeology, natural history and ethnology as examples of collections and collecting showing how the construction and presentation of science and nature can be portrayed. In a second step, the students then integrate their found objects –stuffed animals, early tools and sculptures – within the context of the exhibition. The objects from the State Museum will then return with new labels to the site of their original home, the present “Künstlerhaus” in the Sophienstraße, which was built in 1852 to house the collections of the former Museum of Arts and Sciences. The artist will present over 20 objects and in part large-scale installations in his exhibition for the Kunstverein Hannover, as well as a collection of over 60 works on paper. Along with the found objects from the project with the Fachhochschule art students, the show will comprise over 80 works.