NADA House, Governors Island
Presented by Dreamsong
September - October 1, 2023
The Sun, Moon, Star and Lilit (2023), which spans the entrance to NADA House. Constructed with sails and silks hand- dyed by the artist with hibiscus and black bean, handmade crayons, olives, rope found on Governors Island and a variety of other materials, the work expands on Ettun’s multidisciplinary project dedicated to the aerial spirit demon Lilit who originated from Sumerian, Akkadian, and Judaic mythology. In the 2nd to 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. Enthralled by the images inscribed on these ancient objects, Ettun studied their vocabulary and developed her own language that revives the tradition through a contemporary feminist lens, subverting Lilit’s misogynistic archetype and revamping her image as an Empathic Demon.
The installation is complemented by the debut of The Demons of Attachment (2023), life-size wall-mounted figures greeting visitors and a new text piece sourced from Ettun's related text messaging project. Developed while the artist was isolated at home in Brooklyn in the early days of the pandemic, Ettun continues to send text messages and images from Lilit in conjunction with astrological events to subscribers. Conversation and occasional messages from the Empathic Demon are available to anyone who texts “SUMMON” to 833-575-1049.