Adapted especially for Governors Island, Mark Dion’s immersive The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist takes visitors on a voyeuristic journey confronting a future impacted by climate change.
Previously presented at Storm King Art Center as part of the exhibition Climate Indicators: Artists on Climate Change in 2018, and Prospect 4, New Orleans in 2017, The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist takes on a new form on Governors Island, with objects and material culture informed by the Island’s unique history and the ecology of New York Harbor and the Buttermilk Channel. Starting October 8, 2021, the piece will be on long-term view in Building 105, a historic arsenal building located within the Governors Island Historic District located across from Fort Jay.
The new installation of the work transforms historic Building 105 into an abandoned research outpost, filled with scientific objects, instruments, artifacts and samples. As visitors peer through the building’s windows, they witness a scene preserved in time — a moment, Dion explains, “where somebody studying the natural world realizes that the future’s not looking so good…that we are going to lose a great amount of the natural wonders that have been here in previous centuries.” The work invites reflection on the tools and methodologies through which audiences seek to understand the world around them, while inviting visitors to imagine the life of a solitary researcher faced with the realities of a dark future declining ocean health impacted by climate change.
The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist is made possible through the generous support of Charina Endowment Fund, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust.
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