Conceptual artist Mark Dion will present the next Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist Lecture Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Richards Hall, room 15. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological, field ecology 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.
Dion also frequently collaborates with museums of natural history, aquariums, zoos and other institutions mandated to produce public knowledge on the topic of nature. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Dion questions the objectivity and authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society, tracking how pseudo-science, social agendas and ideology creep into public discourse and knowledge production.
He is the co-director of Mildred’s Land, an innovative visual art education and residency program in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania.
For more than two decades, Dion has worked in the public realm in a wide range of scales, from architecture projects to print interventions in newspapers. Some of his most recent large scale pubic projects include “The Amateur Ornithologist Clubhouse,” a Captain Nemo-like interior constructed in a vast gas tank in Essen, Germany; and “Den,” a large scale folly in Norway’s mountainous landscape that features a massive sculpture of a sleeping bear in a cave, resting on a hill of material culture from the neolithic to the present. Dion has also produced large-scale, permanent commissions for Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany; the Montevideo Biannale in Uruguay; the Rose Art Museum, Johns Hopkins University; the city of Stavoren, Holland; and the Port of Los Angeles.
Dion received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School in Connecticut, and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art’s independent study program.
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