Lily Moebes
Instagram: @lolmoebes

Artist Statement

I wanna be safe explores how memory, trauma, and institutions are structural elements in the body. In 2022 we accept that the body remembers and is informed by trauma, but rarely does the conversation continue. What is it like to remember bodily and how does that experience impact our ability to engage in social praxis? If marginalized bodies carry more trauma, how do they heal and to what extent do they need to?​​ I want to take apart the idea that we need to heal to be part of the conversation, to encourage monstrosity and reinvention along as-yet-unknown lines of subjectivity.

I use scrap material to subvert normative ideas of bodily and psychic wholeness. Discarded sweatshirts invoke the body that has covered itself, the body that is warm, swaddled, identified. These garments have a memory of the body that includes a dialogue from the inside out (sweat stains) and the outside in (wear stains). Wood studs introduce an architectural vocabulary, particularly the bony scaffolds that hold up domestic walls. I often use only string and sweatshirt sleeves to hold the wood together, producing precarious, yet flexible, structures. By bundling and tying, I’m performing an urge to keep myself and my community together.

I want to offer modes of collectivity that do not require the body’s physical presence, as being present can be unbearable for bodies that are constantly being acted on by felt histories and anticipated futures. To this end, the repetition of forms and gestures invokes the participation of multiple bodies, actors, or stand-ins. The making and inclusion of improv quilt blocks is an extension of the desire for collectivity; each quilt fragment layers the labor of unseen bees, communities of makers, and traditions of repair.

Artist Bio

Lily Moebes (b. 1992, Greenfield, Massachusetts) is a Brooklyn-based artist working in painting, printmaking, textiles, and sculpture. Her first solo show debuted at Venice Art Projects in 2021 in Venice, Italy and was followed by a group exhibition at Annenstrasse 53 in Graz, Austria in 2022. She has exhibited at institutions including Zonamaco Art Fair in Mexico City; the Sotheby’s Institute in New York; the Gowanus Loft in New York; the Corcoran School in Washington, D.C; and Martha’s Contemporary Gallery in Austin, Texas. Moebes has participated in residencies at the Textile Arts Center in New York; the Museum of Art and Design in New York; and at Drop, Forge and Tool in Hudson, NY. She graduated with a BA from Barnard College in 2015 and is currently an MFA candidate at the Parsons School of Design/The New School.