I watched my father deteriorate and die from Alzheimer's disease a few years ago. He began to lose numbers, then words. His favorite jokes, those that he told many times over, lost their punch lines. He no longer remembered the present, retreating into a past that none of us knew. When he was bedridden, blind, and tube fed, he talked of spending his day baking a cake or walking with his brother. He mistook his children for his siblings. Ultimately, he no longer remembered my mother. My mother responded to his deterioration with a mixture of love, grief, anger, and guilt. For months after he died, she heard him calling her name, demanding her attention.
"Crows in the Attic, Plucking Memory" grew from that experience. As the images move around the text, they disclose or hide the words, just as the words and images seem to jumble in my father's mind. The images are photographs I have taken of ruins, mostly in Scotland and Thailand with the exception of the photograph of Stuttgart,Germany, taken in 1945, by my Uncle Bill. He is my father's youngest sibling. All of his brothers and sister have died or shown signs of this disease. So far, he is as lively and witty as ever. He has written his memoirs and labeled his photographs. We are all hoping for a cure to this dreadful disease.