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Mark Dion

Mark Dion creates taxonomic installations that explore the way institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Collecting objects and ephemera, Dion then arranges them for display in installations redolent of historical curiosity cabinets. Engaging in a form of amateur archaeology, Dion has dredged a canal in Venice for a piece at the Biennale, and the London Thames for an installation at the Tate Modern. For Rescue Archaeology (2004) at the Museum of Modern Art, he conducted excavations of the construction site for the building’s extension in 2000, uncovering old keys, bathroom tiles, and fragments of wallpaper, among other objects. Dion says of his Post-Minimalist-inspired process of accumulating objects and exploring museum ideologies: “The job of the artist is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention.”