House Mice 2015-

I didn’t start out as a killer. The first traps were the have-a-heart variety—the live mouse released out in the yard somewhere. Around the time that we had to pull down the ceiling in the dining room to rid it of a mouse infestation, it dawned on me that the released mice were simply finding their way back inside. The 200 individuals caught and released over the course of the summer were in reality more like 20 or so repeat offenders.

Quite often when our paths cross, things don't end so well for the animals with whom we share the spaces of our daily lives. We have learned not to register the roadkill half-seen from the window of our speeding car, or the body of a bird who confused the living room window for a clear patch of sky. These mice, who find the nooks and crannies of our homes an ideal habitat are the victims of a more direct and intentional collision. The mundane act of setting a mouse trap to kill the culprit that's been getting into our cupboards or pooping on our toothbrush, facilitates a more personal involvement.

Observing these mice in their traps I see two states simultaneously. The Pest which the mousetrap defines, and the Pets I kept as a child, one to be loved and cherished, the other despised and exterminated. Frozen in the moment of an unexpected death that happened so quickly their eyes are still open, mouth still reaching for the bait, I see two more contradictory states, their life and death separated by a fine line. I can't help but ponder the eventual end of my own life, knowing it's coming but not knowing when. Is it our ability to ignore these thoughts that allows us to carry on in the face of our certain death, but that also explains our capacity for cruelty towards others? These thoughts lead me in circles unexpectedly hard to tune out, like the jarring snap of a mousetrap on the bathroom floor.


   LINKS:


Book dummy (2016)
 


Bathroom

Bedroom

Kitchen (under stove)

Kitchen

Bathroom

Hallway

Living room (behind woodstove)

Dining room

Kitchen

Basement stairs

Livingroom

Basement

Kitchen (counter)

Basement

Basement

Outside backdoor

Basement