Mark Dion

memory box mark dion

Mark Dion, Memory Box (2016).

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston organized a retrospective exhibition on the artist Mark Dion. Entitled Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st Century Naturalist , the show ran from October through December 2017. It brought together some of the artist’s most significant works, many of which address the historical relationship between humans and the natural world; the role of objects in knowledge production; and global environmental calamity.

[For more details on the show, see a review in the New York Review of Books.]

Through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, I served as a Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow at the ICA. For almost two years I worked alongside curatorial staff to organize the show. I carried out extensive research on Mark’s work and its art-historical context; wrote interpretive labels for every artwork in the exhibition (emphasizing the story and process behind each piece); contributed five short essays to a book the ICA co-published with Yale University Press; and assisted the artist and staff with inventorying and installation.

In conjunction with the show, I also coordinated a symposium entitled Artifacts of the Future: Artists’ Interventions in the Environment. This event brought artists from across the country to the ICA to share their work through a series of talks and critical conversations. The event was organized in partnership with area universities, including UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, and Northeastern Center for the Arts.

And finally, in November 2017 I gave a Gallery Talk at the ICA on one of Mark’s installations: New Bedford Cabinet (2001). This event offered visitors an opportunity to focus in-depth on one artwork, contemplating its form and considering its meanings.


new bedford cabinet

Mark Dion, New Bedford Cabinet, 2001.