In The Octagon Room, which takes the form of an architecturally scaled installation, Dion furthers his investigation into the blurred boundaries between art, society, and history, as well as the homogenized methods of their presentation and consumption. Confronting the inherent contradictions between the artifact and the context in which it is displayed, The Octagon Room takes the appearance of a brutalist styled bunker. However, within the installation, the viewer is invited to browse though an abandoned office, the contents of which represent the artist‚Äôs own labyrinthine history of the past eight years.
The imagined provenance of each of the objects in Dion‚Äôs arrangement adds up to a staggering sum of experiences. As each speaks of an individual past, collectively they present a complex mosaic, informing our understanding of the overall subject matter and material. A wunderkammer both autobiographical and sociological, The Octagon Room takes the nation‚Äôs relationship with its own people and its neighbors, and the artist‚Äôs status and position within this framework as its foundation.
Based in New York City and Pennsylvania, Dion is currently developing and ongoing project with the John Bartram Association that will result in the exhibition Mark Dion: Travels of William Bartram Reconsidered at Bartram‚Äôs Garden in Philadelphia, June 21st – December 6th.