Cage Match Project, Round 5: DEADFALL

by STERLING ALLEN

exhibition dates: 11/11/17 – 2/15/18

 

A deadfall is a trap made from heavy objects that have been precisely angled and balanced with sections of tree branches, with one of them serving as a trigger. When something moves this branch—which is typically loaded with bait—the object falls and crushes it. These types of traps have been most common because they are easily made from materials within close proximity.

The appearance of the deadfall trap varies depending on the materials used, but they always take the same form: an asymmetrical distribution of weight that results in a unique, yet specific division of positive and negative space. Similarly, visual artist Sterling Allen utilizes materials within close proximity to construct unique sculptural forms; although not envisioned as a violent end, his material compositions–which are often made from found objects–play with geometric logic in a way that entraps the viewer to look deeper into the intricacies of defined space. For his site-specific installation at the Cage Match Project, DEADFALL,  Allen has reacted to the physical structure of the cage–which also resembles a type of trap–as a means to contemplate alternative ways of looking and display.