Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) has been published following the exhibition of Mark Dion’s third collection of black-and-white photographs from his series called: Ursus maritimus, 1992-2002. The exhibition took place at Toronto’s goodwater in May through June 2002. This is the first presentation of the complete collection of thirty-two photographs from this ongoing series. Both the identification label and the corresponding photograph are printed in two-page spreads, with the label on the left page and photograph facing on the right page, full bleed.
Using a variety of approaches including installation, performance, drawing, and site-specific works, Dion explores nature as an arena for the production of ideology. Combining institutional critique with new histories of science and environmental politics, Dion has addressed the politics of representation in the fields of nature and science. Consistently wary of bias, simplification, and misinformation, Dion challenges both the ecology movement and traditional biology. Taking nature as a cultural construct and self-reflexively evidencing his process and context, he exposes assumptions and desires that are projected onto nature to create its definition.