Still from "The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion," courtesy of EC Films.

Movies

While the Amon Carter Is Closed, Watch The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion at Home

A new documentary about Mark Dion's unusual exhibition will premiere locally on PBS this week, and on Amazon Prime in May.

For two years, conceptual artist Mark Dion traversed the Lone Star State’s marshy coasts and sprawling plains following in the footsteps of four historic Texas explorers. The objects, observations, and experiences he found along the way make up the Amon Carter Museum’s unorthodox exhibition, The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion, which was set to run through May 17 at the Fort Worth museum. (Due to the museum’s unexpected closure in March, the Amon Carter is considering extending the show–we’ll have more on that soon.)

While you can no longer see the exhibit in person, you can get an even closer look at Dion’s travels through a new documentary, The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion, airing locally on KERA this Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. (And again on April 24 at 11 p.m. and April 28 at 11 p.m.) 

North Texas-based EC Films made the documentary in conjunction with the Amon Carter’s exhibition. Director Erik Clapp and Mitch Winberg followed Dion on his adventures, capturing his creative process as he collected and created pieces. 

The artist and historian visited four regions of Texas, retracing the footsteps of 19th-century explorers including John James Audubon, Charles Wright, Sarah Ann Lillie Hardinge, and Frederick Law Olmsted. The resulting exhibit shares his findings through photographs, drawings, collections of bottle caps, and toy guns. And now, with the film, you can walk beside Dion as he discovers Texas’ wonders. 

“This was such a unique documentary…just like Mark’s artistic process, the film captured that rather organic state. I think what makes this piece so compelling is that nothing was staged or forced,” said Director/Editor Erik Clapp in a statement. “I’m really proud that most of the film was created with only two crew members, myself and Mitch Winberg, who assisted on camera and secured the magnificent aerial shots. It was grassroots from day one, till the day we wrapped.”

Clapp and the EC Films team have produced several ongoing documentaries for the museum, including Thread, a film about Gabriel Dawes’ stunning, monumental Plexus no. 34 installation. The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion is premiering locally on PBS on April 21 at 7 p.m. and will be available nationwide on Amazon Prime in May. 

Learn more about the Amon Carter’s exhibition, The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion, here.

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