Don’t Miss: Mark Dion’s European exhibitions

Mark Dion, “Polar Bear and Toucans (From Amazonas to Svalbard)”, 1991

Two exhibitions of work by Season 4 artist Mark Dion, The Natural History of the Museum and Systema Metropolis, are running concurrently in Sweden, Switzerland, and London, respectively, this summer and fall.

In both shows, Dion continues his wide-ranging investigations into art and science—the relationship between animals, humans, and environments, and the Western systems of classification and collection and modes of presentation. Through intriguing art installations, Dion examines how humans make order out of chaos by collecting and classifying organisms and, at the same time, recreating the categorization and exhibition practices of museums. Moreover, he specifically celebrates the 300 years since the birth of Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern biological classification system that gives every species a two-part Latin name.

In The Natural History of the Museum, on view at the Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg, Sweden, until August 26, 2007, Dion uses irony, humour and allegory to build bridges between the traditional role of the museum as an authoritarian educator and a new role as a conveyor of knowledge and an entertainer. The show will then travel to Seedam Kulturzentrum in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, from September 15 to November 11, 2007.

Systema Metropolis, at the Natural History Museum in London until September 2, 2007, is based on a four-part installation that explores the strange and surprising biodiversity of London through wildlife samples collected at different sites across the city and its classification.