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Announcement
March 23, 2015

Mark Dion:Phantom Museum—Wonder Workshop

Colgate University
Mark Dion, Phantom Museum Wonder Workshop.
Colgate University, Clifford Gallery, 2015.

On February 11, Mark Dion launched a community-wide collaboration with students, faculty, local artists and community members by converting the Clifford Gallery, into his “Wonder Workshop.” Since then our community has been busy creating objects, based on illustrations of 16th- and 17th- century cabinets of curiosities, for a large cabinet especially built for the project. The finished installation will open on March 25, with a reception and gallery talk by the artist and remains on view through April 10. The University, as a steward, producer and presenter of knowledge, provides the ideal context for Dion’s work. Throughout his artistic career, Dion has consistently interrogated the ways in which knowledge—particularly our understanding of nature, science, and history—is and has been constructed and presented in academic and public institutions across time and place. Engaging in projects that frequently involve various sites and community collaborations—from his pseudo-archaeological excavations along the banks of the Thames River to his re-installation of museum collections in unconventional ways—Dion employs aspects of museum practice and scientific study to engage dominant narratives about topics including the environment, politics, activism, and consumer culture. Infusing wit and irony into his art, Dion charges his viewers to think critically about the objective and subjective ways in which information is created, interpreted, and distributed.

A partner exhibition is on view in the Picker Art Gallery through May 17, and features more than 40 works by Dion—including sculpture, prints, and artist books—spanning from the early 1990s to the present day. A concertina-style brochure designed by artists Mark Dion and Jeffrey Jenkins will accompany Mark Dion: The Phantom Museum—Wonder Workshop. The publication will include a foreword by Anja Chávez, Director of university museums, Colgate University, and Lynette Stephenson, professor of art and art history, Colgate University; an introduction by Jill Shaw, senior curator of collections, Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University; and an essay by Carolyn C. Guile, assistant professor of art and art history, Colgate University.

Support for Mark Dion: The Phantom Museum–Wonder Workshop at Colgate University comes from Colgate’s Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence Fund, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Picker Art Gallery. The Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence Fund was established in 1986 as a challenge grant in support of the arts at Colgate. The residency program permits one or more artists or scholars in the areas of fine arts, music, and theater to become part of the Colgate community each academic year.

Mark Dion
Mark Dion was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1961 and currently lives in New York City. He received his BFA (1986) and an honorary doctorate (2003) from the University of Hartford School of Art in Connecticut and also studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York (1982–84) and in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program (1984–85). The recipient of many awards, Dion has undertaken numerous public commissions and has been the subject of solo exhibitions in major international institutions including Mark Dion: The Academy of Things (2014, Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden, Germany); The Macabre Treasury (2013, Museum Het Domein in Sittard, The Netherlands); Oceanomania: Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas. His work has also been included in major group exhibitions including dOCUMENTA 13 (2012). A mentor at Columbia University, he works and exhibits worldwide and is co-director of Mildred’s Lane, an innovative art residency program in northeastern Pennsylvania.

 

About Colgate University
Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by the dedication of its 294 full-time faculty-scholars, and its commitment to global engagement, student-faculty research, off-campus study, sustainable practices, utilizing technology to enhance the teaching and learning experience and where the arts play a key role in the university’s curriculum and provide an array of extracurricular opportunities.

 

Mark Dion's Phantom Museum Wonder Workshop at Colgate University

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