Mark Dion at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in NYC

Mark Dion, “The Octagon Room,” 2008. Mixed media installation, approximate footprint 20 x 20 feet.

On view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery through March 15 is The Octagon Room, a major installation and sculpture project comprising Season 4 artist Mark Dion‘s new solo presentation at the gallery.

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’s own labyrinthine history of the past eight years.

The imagined provenance of each of the objects in Dion’s 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’s relationship with its own people and its neighbors, and the artist’s 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’s Garden in Philadelphia, June 21st РDecember 6th.

Contributor
Art21 Director of Special Projects

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