Trap, sculptural performance

Katherine Rutecki

Trap, 2016-2017

Sculptural Performance, twined steel


Performance Document no. 1-8, 2016

Inkjet prints on paper, each 22 x 30 inch

Photographic documentation by Jamie Sheffer


Trap Remnant, 2016-2017

Twined steel, brazed



 “Trap” is a metaphor in process.

I built a trap for myself from pencil gauge steel, hand twined like a willow or reed basket, but made specifically to my proportions.

I began with the trap opening, an inverted funnel, counting the weft to create the diameter to insert my shoulders.

The weaving was done cold with modest hand tools, fencing pliers and gripping pliers, my hands ached such that I had to rest them for a day or so every time I spent afternoons weaving.

I performed the trap by sliding into it through the tunnel entrance. The sheared ends of the warp steel bruised and scraped my body.

I curled up inside and felt the sun on my face and a moment of solitude

Fear of being inside overtook the solitude and I had to make actions to evacuate.

I assessed my escape.

I eased out, rolling the trap back on its side and pulling myself out, head first.

The performance action was exhausting.

I crushed the trap with my body weight and brazed together all of the connections,  simultaneously connecting and gilding each.  

The trap cannot be used again and cannot be re-formed.