Oceanomania investigates the evolution of our fascination with the sea, in time and space, design, literature and art, revealing how the uncanny and marvelous have inspired artistic research. Continuing his investigations as a naturalist, archaeologist and traveler, the American artist Mark Dion explored the collections of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco to create a monumental curiosity cabinet and dived into the collections of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) to present a major intervention at Villa Paloma, one of the NMNM’s exhibition spaces.
The accompanying publication, Oceanomania: Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas published by MACK and NMNM combines installation images from the exhibition, original artist imagery and essays from various writers exploring the different facets of the exploration of the seas and the challenges in exhibiting a marine world above sea level.
Two significant and contrasting recent maritime events form the conceptual framework of Dion’s project. These are the recently completed Census of Marine Life (2010) and the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion. The first brought together 2,700 scientists from 80 nations over a 10-year period to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of life in the oceans. The second, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion led to 4.9 million barrels of crude oil being spilled into the seas of the Gulf of Mexico, producing an 80 square mile kill zone and causing extensive damage to marine life. Its consequences are expected to be felt for decades to come.
OCEANOMANIA is based on a general concept by Mark Dion.
Co-curators: Sarina Basta and Cristiano Raimondi
Scientific advisors: Patrick Piguet and Nathalie Rosticher Giordano.
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