In 2002, the University of Manchester's Research Centre for Studies of Surrealism and its Legacies invited American sculptor Mark Dion to become artist-in-residence for a project in collaboration with Manchester Museum, with the aim of creating an installation reflecting on the impact and legacy of Surrealism.

Dion's residency resulted in the Bureau, a space that Dion said would 'provide a fitting setting for the contemplation and study of Surrealism'. Dion created the work in collaboration with the museum's staff, whom he asked to find objects that would 'make you smile, laugh, shake your head in shock and condemnation, or gasp'. The work evokes a 1920s curator's office, filled with curiosities: unusual objects, artefacts and specimens collected at a time when the museum's collecting policies were less clearly directed. Heads mounted on shields, guinea pigs with four hind legs, bric-a-brac and flea market finds are among the esoteric items on display.


The artist.

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