Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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The Seed Smuggler's Luggage
  • Mark Dion
    born 1961
    born: New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
  • The Seed Smuggler's Luggage, 2008
  • antique Boy Scouts of America rucksack, cotton batting, plastic containers, seeds
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 15 x 23 x 16 in
  • Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
  • Not on display
  • EL2018.001
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World", 27-Mar-2018
Mark Dion’s work The Seed Smuggler’s Luggage has prompted discussion about the historical smuggling of Brazilian rubber trees by the English who then set up their own rubber plantations in Malaysia. Dion’s use of a Boy Scout backpack and compartmentalized plastic containers suggests that the problem of seed smuggling is ongoing. Seeds play a powerful role in artworks dealing with bio-engineering, sustainability, and biodiversity, as in Eduardo Kac’s Edunia Seed Packs and Dornith Doherty’s Archiving Eden: the Vaults, both in this exhibition.