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Marc Dion: Buchsdom Tower

In the romantic early-classicist park at Grafenegg the focus is on the stage-management of the landscape, of nature. For the internationally renowned American artist Mark Dion nature is a cultural construct, the object of people's projections.

His Buchsdom Tower demonstrates the equality in value of nature and culture, of natural exponent and artwork. Dion does this by employing the highly artificial language of the garden folly, which with architectures like antique-style temples, artificial ruins, grottos, hermitages and oriental-style buildings, gave the romantic landscaped garden scenarios their true significance.

Mark Dion built a ruined tower in the middle of an impressive historical boxtree that projects above the shrub and provides a viewing point. The romantic weakness for ruins ties in with Dion's all-too scientific interest in natural processes and his passion for the organisation of museums. In the middle of the box hedge is a diorama lit by natural daylight to be seen through a thick plate of glass in the tower. It shows the ecological process of natural decay and rotting as a grotesque artful tableau. Dion arranged a rotting dear on the floor of the forest, and surrounded it with leaves, toadstools and insects, a crow, mice and worms. A gruesome vanitas picture, magnificent and macabre, but also a witty and positive statement on the cycle of nature.