Ursus Arctos

Mark Dion

Magnify

About the edition

In 2005 internationally renowned American artist Mark Dion was commissioned by Dundee City Council to carry out a project on the re-development of the bear enclosure at Dundee’s Camperdown Wildlife Centre. Dion is best known for large-scale projects that cause us to re-examine classification systems and labels used by specialists such as curators, archaeologists or ethnologists to explain our material culture. Working collaboratively, he represents his findings in a way that allows viewers to actively question such systems with a fresh objectivity.

At the Camperdown enclosure, which is home to two European brown bears, Dion created an installation in the form of a circular stone ‘broch’ and exhibited found artefacts offering a history of our changing cultural attitudes to the brown bear. During DCA’s 2005 exhibition Our Surroundings, Dion exhibited his plans, drawings and a model of this collaboration.

This striking large-scale print based on the Camperdown project was created in the Print Studio at DCA. Styled on an old French educational poster, it comprises selected reproductions of antique engravings which chart perspectives relating to the history of the Camperdown site and the brown bear. During the move of the the Camperdown bears to their new site, keepers captured a paw print to add to the chart. Posited alongside the artist’s collection of associated texts, these images generate uncertainty rather than an educational assertion: a forum for re-examination of our past and present narratives.

Year 2005
Edition of 30
Media Toray silicone intaglio print on Hahnemühle Aquarelle (600 gsm) paper with a stamp taken from the artist's stamp collection
Dimensions 105 x 78cm
Signature Signed, numbered and dated by artist

About Mark Dion

Mark Dion was born in 1961 Massachusetts and lives in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania. He has exhibited worldwide, including his major project, ‘Tate Thames Dig’ for the Tate Gallery in 1999. ‘The Dundee Bear Broch’ for Camperdown Wildlife Centre was his first major project in Scotland.