Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy (Special Edition, 2018)
Each book is housed in a slip case, designed and handmade by Book Works’ studio.
Two colour relief print printed by Book Works’ studio.
340 x 515mm
Edition of 30, plus 10 artist’s proofs
Signed and numbered by the artist
Standard Price £560
Supporters price* £504
*Please note that the Supporters price is available to those who support Book Works via the Readers Club and Supporters scheme. For more information how to support Book Works please click here.
This Special Edition and print has been produced on the occasion of the paperback reprint of Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy by Mark Dion (2018).
About the work:
Recalling the short-lived Bureau de Recherches Surréalistes of 1924−1925 − part information centre and ‘public relations’ office, and part surrealist archive − Mark Dion trawled through the Manchester Museum’s own collections and found the raw material for this book and a new installation for the museum. In February 2018 the installation will be part of a solo exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery: Theatre of the natural World. Museums’ attempts to classify and present the world in miniature inevitably mean that much of their collections are forgotten and marginalized. Renowned for his work exploring taxonomy, archaeology and ecology, Mark Dion, in his Bureau documents his opportunistic encounters with the Museum of Manchester’s neglected drawers and overlooked recesses that are home to redundant labels, orphaned mounts, defunct teaching models, botanical freaks, Egyptian fakes and the minutiae that have fallen through the cracks of museum practice and lain abandoned. Dion’s Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy is both a repository for the detritus of museum life and a working process, classifying the museum’s un-classifiable whilst exploring the bureaucratic workings of the institution.
About the artist:
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. The artist’s spectacular and often fantastical curiosity cabinets, modeled on Wunderkammen of the 16th and 17th Century, exalt atypical orderings of objects and specimens. Dion also frequently collaborates with museums of natural history, aquariums, zoos and other institutions mandated to produce public knowledge on the topic of nature. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, 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.
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