Lilit the Empathetic Demon
drawing, textile, collage, ceramic, sculpture, performance, and video.

Lilit the Demon is a multidisciplinary project conjuring the aerial spirit demon, Lilit (Lilith), whose story traces back to ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, and Judaic mythology. In the 2nd-7th centuries, artist-healers created spells, drawings, and talismanic objects to trap demons like Lilit, who was characterized as a dangerously sexual female entity, and appeared frequently on incantation bowls used in protective rituals. The rituals were often performed by womxn concerned with medical issues like pregnancy and birth. I revive these practices through a feminist lens by subverting Lilit’s misogynistic archetype and revamping her image as an Empathic Demon. Adopting Lilit’s perspective and newfound agency, I create demon traps in various scales and media including ceramic, iron, textiles, drawing, performance and video.
The building blocks of the piece are sourced through a project I launched in 2020 in which I take on the persona of Lilit and, through text messages, interact with several hundreds of people every month. People sign up for Lilit’s list and every month she sends messages with drawings and instructions for somatic exercises. These drawings conjure the many possible faces of Lilit, as inspired by the demon drawings found on the historical incantation bowls. This piece of the project started during the pandemic as an urgent response to isolation. The texts creates intimate relationships with the readers, who frequently write her back with snippets about their lives and demons. The online instructions lead to offline actions, such as an exercise that leads participants to find something in their home shaped like a full moon, and use it to draw on their body.
To subscribe to Lilit’s text group text SUMMON to 833-575-1049

Wave Cave, Installation view at the Watermill Center, 2022
Hand-dyed and stitched boat sails, with acrylic paint, rope, printed silk, found fabrics
How to Trap a Demon, durational performance at Pioneer Works, photo by Walter Wlodarczyk, 2023

Wave Cave, Installation view at Stoneleaf Retreat, 33x15 feet
Hand-dyed and stitched boat sails, with acrylic paint, rope, printed silk, found fabrics; 2022
Lili and Lilu, outdoor sculpture at the Shelburne Museum, Vermont, 2023

66 Drawings, leaves and a stick, installation view at Dreamsong Gallery, MN, 2023

Lilit, iron cast, 28x22x4 inches, installation view at SUNY Purcahse, photo by Yann Chashanovski, 2022