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  • Writer's pictureArthur Bruso

Memory Box by Mark Dion

Shed like structure in an art gallery. The door is open showing many small boxes stacked on shelves.
Mark Dion, "Memory Box," 2016. Wood, steel, shelving, and various objects, 114 x 113 x 125 inches.

With this piece, Mark Dion explores our curiosity. The work is conceived as interactive, in that the viewer is welcome to take out the boxes and look inside. Each box has an object or several objects that are waiting for discovery. Search and discovery is the main focus of this work. Dion is hoping to invoke in the participant the sensation of the archeologist discovering a long hidden tomb full of ancient treasure, or at least the furtive guilt of peeking in a strangers medicine cabinet at a party. It is less about visual stimulation and more about looking and discovery. Unfortunately, the gallery where I saw this did not clearly state that this piece was interactive, so I missed out on the larger meaning of the work, as I respectfully stared at the many boxes and moved on. Perhaps that was best, since while a good concept, I don’t believe that the intent of the piece would stand up to public groping.

Detail of some of the boxes inside the structure.

Arthur Bruso © 2017

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