INDICES AND INCANTATIONS

This work references the escapulario, an equal-sided, devotional pendant, worn over the shoulders to remind the wearer of a vow. While a vow is considered performative speech, with the capacity to make something happen, its etymology suggests other meanings: desire and longing, and the things that we bear.  In the medieval period, boundaries between material and immaterial were fluid: thoughts, words, and memories had physical properties – texture and dimension. These escapularios are made from an apothecary of materials: linen, lead, wool, silver, steel, and mirror. I combine these as one would a recipe, with specific proportions and weights. They function as indices, as signs or a measure of something, mediating the interior and exterior self. The mirrors in them – along with their apotropaic and psychological qualities – are recording devices, capturing and absorbing the world around them. While alchemists once endeavored to turn lead into gold, these are about staying in the lead, to anchor the mind as well as the body.