Discarded fence pickets are gathered, largely from foreclosed properties, and collectively assembled into chevaux de frise snaking throughout the grounds of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The form, inspired by the medieval military design used to obstruct cavalry,  was particularly functional as it could be fabricated with at-hand materials, was moveable, and could be reassembled without expensive metal nails. During the American Revolution and the Civil War, chevaux de frise were commonly thrown into trenches to prevent the free mobility of enemy soldiers. However, the fences’ sectional and moveable nature allowed them to be flipped vertically and used as ladders to climb out of the trenches. When submerged in water passages, held under by rocks, these pernicious configurations would puncture the hulls of oncoming ships. Each picket’s history has etched it into a unique contribution, and as one encircles the fence, it becomes a collective animation. While my upcoming projects will focus on dissolving boundaries, here I have created an unnecessary one. For the joy of it.

To view more project related documentation visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/82481889@N08/sets/72157639909297326/

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chevaux de frise

marin abell