To create The Natural Sciences (2015), Mark Dion (1961, New Bedford, MA, United States) was given access to the storage depot at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. From this treasure trove of fossils, rocks, minerals and stuffed animals, he selected a series of unusual objects, some of which are iconic in the world of natural history. By presenting 3D-printed copies of these objects in a surprising arrangement and form, Dion presents a new, surrealist cabinet of curiosities.
Dion has been working with natural history collections for the past 25 years, making cabinets of curiosities in which the organisation and nature of the collected objects diverges from traditional scientific methodology. By doing so, Dion wants to make it clear that our knowledge of the world is entirely constructed by dominant western ideologies and scientific practices, but that we can also look at the world, science and nature in a completely different way. Naturalis is a particularly special place for Dion, because – as he himself puts it – you ‘don’t only understand the priceless scientific value of the collection, but its cultural significance too’.
Mark Dion lives and works in New York, United States.biography & practice