Past Exhibitions

Mark Dion: Memento Mori (My Glass is Run)

May 1—October 9, 2005

Mark Dion produces artwork that consistently blurs the boundaries between natural history, art, and science. A recipient of the Larry Aldrich Award in 2001, his works both critique and celebrate the cataloging and presentation of art, historical, and natural materials by museums, exploring themes as diverse as archeology, consumer culture, ecology, environmentalism, and political activism. Dion's outdoor installation, Memento Mori (My Glass is Run), takes the form of a mock cemetery dedicated to significant American naturalists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that had worked in the greater Philadelphia area. The installation was originally commissioned by the Main Line Arts Center in Haverford, Pennsylvania, as part of their exhibition Past Presence: Contemporary Reflections on the Main Line. Reconfigured for presentation at The Aldrich, the work was suggestively installed in The Aldrich's inner courtyard, creating the moody atmosphere of a history-laden churchyard.

When queried on the naturalists chosen for the tombstones, Dion replied, "Versed in literature, poetry, art, medicine, political theory of natural philosophy, they were the first true polymaths and people of startling intellect and talent." Although the group of individuals was not actually buried near one another Dion's project highlights both their connection with Philadelphia and their contributions to the early evolution of natural science in the United States. The work includes headstones dedicated to Benjamin Smith Barton, John Bartram, Jane Colden, Thomas Say, Charles Wilson Peale, Titian Ramsey Peale, Rembrandt Peale, and Raphaelle Peale.

additional images | click to enlarge



Mark Dion, Memento Mori (My Glass is Run), 2004, Nine slate and marble headstones, Dimensions variable, Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York


Mark Dion, Memento Mori (My Glass is Run), 2004, Nine slate and marble headstones, Dimensions variable, Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

About the Artist

Mark Dion lives and works in Beach Lake, PA. He attended the University of Hartford, CT, The School of Visual Arts in NY, and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, NY. In 2001, He was the ninth recipient of the annual Larry Aldrich Foundation Award and his award exhibition, Full House, was presented at The Aldrich in 2003. Also in 2003, Dion was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford Art School in conjunction with the exhibition Mark Dion: Collaborations 1987 - 2003 at the Joseloff Gallery in Hartford, CT.

Top of page: Mark Dion, Memento Mori (My Glass is Run), 2004, Nine slate and marble headstones, Dimensions variable, Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York