|Nature Morte connotes
the life of the object as stillness, as contained or weighted
within the boundary of the frame, suspended eternally between past and present.
As dead nature, the still-life evokes a sense of loss or a kind
of longing for what has been or what will never be. Nature Morte speaks
to such longing. Formally related to the still-life but also to the genre
of nineteenth century portrait photography and Victorian carte-de-visites,
Allens series of nine photogravures depict discreet objects and staged
tableaux suspended against a lush, velvety blackness.
Nature Morte, not only explores issues of conflict relating to Native Americans but relates to the history of all conflicts. The work contains a tension between the beauty of the object depicted and its real function. Isolated against the expanse of black the lures hook glistens, as a warning or marker of treacherous beginnings (or endings). These works remind us of those contested spaces between domination and struggle, strength and weakness, wrongs committed and rights uncorrected.