Thought & Memory
Calgary, Alberta

Thought & Memory started as a curiosity; the curiosity of what it means to be a collector, what objects we collect and why, and how these objects contribute to our identity. Considering crows: they are creatures that collect objects, scavenge for food, and witness the world from varying vantage points. They are keen listeners and remember deeply; they can form long-lasting memories and bonds from a single experience. Much like the crow, I took to collecting as an embodied practice, exploring the resemblances between my ways and that of the black-coated being.

Ordinarily, we find ourselves in relation to objects and orient ourselves accordingly. They carry stories, have captivating aesthetic qualities, and bring charm or necessary functions to our daily lives; they maintain a sentimentality only known to us and us alone.

Contemplating this, I imagined how crows act as messengers, carrying objects with a sense of curiosity. I created a costume from my collected items to resemble all aspects of the crow. This process brought forth a natural mimicry – an association of the objects to the stories behind them. In the process of assembling, the objects called upon the past inherent to them. The crow mask, seen in three iterations of paper mache, plaster and cloth, and ceramic, recall the aesthetics of masks used during the 17th-century bubonic plague and the first and second World Wars. Further research explored these masks as symbols of death, resonating with my own personal mythologies found in my family of origin; that is, my grandparents' role in supporting death within the Jewish community.

A glint of fine light

The curious collector

Takes its perch then dives

Thought & Memory - FULL VIDEO HERE
Repurposed Leather, Ceramic

Lex Hilderman
Calgary, Alberta