The gray poplar tree excavated two years ago at the University of Vienna’s Biology Center site, which was about to expire and stored in a meadow and finally returned to its original location, has become a work of art. In “Vivarium of St. Marks” by American artist Mark Dion, you can watch the tree continue to transform into a “living and changing sculpture”.
Located in the foyer of the neighborhoods center, the vivarium is an art and building project for the Federal Real Estate Company (BIG). The competition for the project was announced in July 2018. Seven local and international artists were invited. Winner, Marc Dion, design painter, installer and installer. “What particularly impressed the jury was the story the composition tells, which relates to biology, the university, and the location on several levels,” comment today was about the project in which BIG has invested around € 150,000.
In his work, Dion is primarily concerned with nature and its representation. “Storage in a greenhouse as a closed ecosystem allows you to witness the process of change and decomposition, which is slowed down by optimal climatic conditions. The continuous decay of the tree and its simultaneous regeneration represent nature as a complex system of cycles and processes and enhance our understanding of the principles of life and evolution.” “At the same time, Mark Dion Vivarium St. Marx reminds us of the history of one of the most important biological research institutions in the world. On the occasion of the Vienna World’s Fair in 1873, the decorations were built as a publicly available exhibition The Prater Aquarium, which around 1900 became the world’s leading research institute For experimental biology. “
University of Vienna President Heinz Engel said today: “With the Vivarium, Mark Dion has found a wonderful technical answer to make the topic of sustainability, specifically the environmental cycle, visible and to do so in close collaboration with scientists.” Sustainability is “a central issue for science, researchers, and students who will study and work in the New Biology Center”.
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