"Scala Naturae" (1994)

"Scala Naturae," 1994
Stepped plinth, artifacts, specimens, taxidermic animals, and bust, 93 3/4 x 39 3/8 x 117 inches
Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

"It’s a very complex relationship between the natural and the cultural. Certainly, we are of nature. But if you begin to blur that to a certain point and believe that all artificial culture- the noosphere, the sphere of human activity- is natural, that seems to cause a lot of problems. Then we don’t need the terms ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’; we can just say everything’s natural. But I don’t really think that’s the case. We come from the natural world but, clearly, we are distinctively different in our relationship to every other animal on the planet because of our language capabilities, because we have a sense of history, because we are able to store information and knowledge in a way that other animals can’t. Of course, we’ve evolved that way naturally." - Mark Dion ...

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"It’s a very complex relationship between the natural and the cultural. Certainly, we are of nature. But if you begin to blur that to a certain point and believe that all artificial culture- the noosphere, the sphere of human activity- is natural, that seems to cause a lot of problems. Then we don’t need the terms ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’; we can just say everything’s natural. But I don’t really think that’s the case. We come from the natural world but, clearly, we are distinctively different in our relationship to every other animal on the planet because of our language capabilities, because we have a sense of history, because we are able to store information and knowledge in a way that other animals can’t. Of course, we’ve evolved that way naturally."

- Mark Dion

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