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Clayton Porter

Mice, Entropy, Evil, and Chocolate
Posted on: September 3, 2013


In Albrecht Dürer’s print of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, at Adam’s feet, are a cat and mouse with symbolic meaning. The mouse represents the destructive force of Satan, slowly gnawing away at man’s good work. The cat symbolizes Jesus, who would finally catch Satan after Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross.

The installation I envision consists of six white Victorian dollhouses on pedestals arranged in a circle, each approximately two meters from a center pedestal. In each house would be placed six white female mice, thirty-six in all, kept secure but visible with added Plexiglas walls. The houses would be connected to the center pedestal by corridors, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel, so the mice could travel through, allowing them access to what is placed in the vitrine-covered center pedestal. Inside the center vitrine would be placed a sculpture made out of chocolate that the mice would gnaw on and eventually destroy. On the surrounding walls are six large Dürer-esque graphite drawings, highlighting the destructive and monstrous aspects of the mouse in relation to humanity’s own cruel destructive nature.


I will buy materials and pay myself to make the work. $1,193.94 for six Victorian style Princess Anne Dollhouse kits. Approximately $108 for Thirty-six mice. Other supplies include, food grade silicone rubber, chocolate, MDF board, Masonite, lumber, paint, Plexiglas, vitrine, aluminum channel, hardware, dollhouse furniture, mouse food, and other miscellaneous expenses.


The installation itself would evolve through the duration of the show as the mice alter their environment and eat the chocolate sculpture. Other sculptures may be added as needed. The project would take approximately four to six months to produce.


This proposal has its origins in a previous project exhibited at [Artspace] at Untitled in Oklahoma City, 2006. The work, titled “My little helpers: 666,” consisted of one dollhouse, six mice, and a ledger book filled with demonic drawings of mice. Influenced by Graham Greene’s “The Destructors” amongst others, the idea that destruction is an act of creation continues to influence my studio practice. Like the mice, I manipulate materials with my body, confronting the subjects of desire and destruction. I want the proposed installation to touch on topics such as nature, entropy, and art.