Mark Dion

2001, colored pencil on paper, 27,5 x 35 cm

Mark Dion’s installations, scientific test arrangements or drawings are critical, often humorous reflections on the representation of nature in society. GATEHOUSE is an unrealized nature park project on the slag field of a former coalmine in England. Dion (*1961) suggested turning the abandoned mine into a park with fruit trees and wild plants in such a way as to take both the natural environment and the mine’s history into consideration. The entrance, here in sketch form, was to be a gatehouse. To the right and the left of the portal, Dion had planned an artist’s studio (art) and a laboratory (science). To Dion, art and science are two complimentary structures, which, on the one hand, symbolize the representation of technical possibilities and, on the other, the representation of aesthetic form. The apple stands for the partnership between man and nature in agriculture. The stag reminds us of the historical ecology of the location before its industrial use. The lumbs of coal symbolize the material that the transformation caused. The precision with which the lines are drawn and the choice of colored pencil is reminiscent of technical drawings from the 19th and early 20th centuries.