The Last Mousetrap Ever, '15
Fabricated steel, lumber, rubberized tar, motor oil, and light.
8' x 4' x 6'
'The Last Mousetrap Ever' was exhibited at the Hamiltonian Gallery as part of 'Fellows Converge, re; gift'. Fellows Converge | re: gift largely examines the multifacetedness of objects; their assigned usages; and how an object’s meaning can shift depending on context, ownership, and history. Hamiltonian’s artists spent a weekend at Elsewhere museum in Greensboro, NC partaking in activities that allowed them to consider how objects mediate our experiences; function in our daily lives as objects of history, memory, and utility; and contribute to identity. Following the visit, Jenny Carlisle (program director at Elsewhere) assigned the seven participating artists with the following directive:
Step 1: Give a gift. Make it meaningful. Wrap it nicely.
Step 2: Receive a gift.
Step 3: Create a new artwork based on the gift.
The Last Mouse Trap Ever was conceived after reflection of a peculiar mousetrap from my childhood on a homestead farm. After being gifted a simple wooden trap (see video below) I began thinking of the objects function, its history, its use, and my experience with mice and traps. Since its invention, American citizens have been forever seeking to ‘re-design the mousetrap’ as a symbol of entrepreneurship. I can recall one trap design that farmers would use that lured mice into a bucket half-full of water which lead to their death by drowning. Humans obsession with ‘a better mouse trap’ alongside their hunger to diminish the growing population of mice drew me to the idea of a human scale trap. After all, isn’t it all part of a viscous cycle? The mouse population increases as humans multiply and build homes and supply food for the creatures. Today there is even a trap that sends the homeowner an e-mail when it has captured something. I began to think, what would the last mouse trap ever look like?