" My personal interest is very tied up in animals and their lives, and the study of ecology, but my work is not about nature - it's about ideas of nature. The core of my concern is trying to understand how we got to our current understandinf of the natural world and our relationship to the natural world "
Specifically commissioned for this exhibition, the diorama Paris Streetscape depicts the urban landscape of Paris at dawn with animals taking over the streets, rummaging through household waste and rubbish bags. The diorama is full of trash and rubbish, challenging the idealized staging of traditional habitat groups with animals in their natural environment. The artist has carefully selected « urban species » - pigeons, crows, cats ? which have survived for decades in the urban context, adapting to severe air pollution. The scenery is entirely made of trash, posters and graffitis which strictly refer to the world of animals as if they had taken possession of the city. The dioramais embedded in a crate on wheels and can be shipped as such.
This work belongs to the series of « mobile dioramas » that Mark Dion has been elaborating for several years : « The mobile dioramas represents a kind of European wilderness in a kind of mobile home that can be moved from place to place. It could be brought to a new city, or a social housing settlement, and there communicate the essence of wilderness. Instead of taking nature out of its context and transferring it into a natural history museum, we are moving forward and returning nature to the social sphere. »