CITY SIGHTS: Finding the science-art in New York area art exhibitions
By Julia Buntaine, Editor-in-Chief
Tanya Bonakar Gallery
New York NY
"Mark Dion: The Library for the Birds of New York and Other Marvels"
February 25 through April 16, 2016
Mark Dion has brought his audience to many places: into the depths of the Venice canals, into a world where marine invertebrates are actually dog and sex toys, and into the tomb of a giant decomposing Hemlock, to name a few. Regularly inverting the gallery context for that of the outdoors, a scientific lab, and the archaeologist's office, Dion goes beyond the wildest dreams of Hans Haacke by providing his viewers not only with his aesthetically spectacular sculptures and installations, but layers of interacting meaning between his piece's content and context.
This month, Dion brings New Yorkers inside the birdcage. What does a library for birds look like? Filled with live birds, books on birds, and peppered by objects that reference their scientific study, Dion suggests a gap between the documentation and real life of these tiny creatures. The books contain whole worlds of thought, and the birds contain whole worlds of bird-consciousness, and the two shall never meet. (That most of the books, by a few weeks into the installation, are lightly covered in bird droppings is both humorous and laden with meaning.) Anchored by a central white Oak, this piece resembles a captured a slice of nature and is delightful inside this white box, inside this concrete city.
The "other wonders" of this show live up to their name as well. Including his classic cabinets of curiosities and clever jabs at Big Oil, "Phantom Museum" is a glow-in-the-dark presentation of 16th and 17th century inspired creatures, sitting ghostly in their blackout shelf.
"Mark Dion: The Library for the Birds of New York and Other Wonders" is on view until April 16th.
For more information, visit: http://www.tanyabonakdargallery.com/
All photos courtesy of Julia Buntaine.