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Mark Dion

Waiting for the Extraordinary


Wednesday, October 18, 2017
5:30 pm


In-person Event

U-M Museum of Art
525 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Open to the public
Free of charge

Special Event: Wednesday, October 18, 5:30 pm at UMMA (525 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)

Mark Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. The job of the artist,” he says, is to go against the grain of dominant culture, to challenge perception and convention.” Appropriating archaeological, field ecology, and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between objective’ (‘rational’) scientific methods and subjective’ (‘irrational’) influences. Mark Dion questions the objectivity and authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society, tracking how pseudo-science, social agendas, and ideology creep into public discourse and knowledge production. In 2011, Mark Dion created the site-specific installation, Waiting for the Extraordinary, commissioned by the U‑M Institute for the Humanities. The work focused on the original blueprint for the University, and its 13 distinct classifications of knowledge, incorporating 3D replicas of artifacts from U‑M museums and collections. To coincide with the University’s Bicentennial year, Dion now re-stages the work in a new iteration.

This University of Michigan Bicentennial event is presented in partnership with the Institute for Humanities and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Content Notice

In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.