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Past Exhibition The Word of God: Helène Aylon, The Liberation of G-d and The Unmentionable

May 8–June 26, 2011

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Helène Aylon (1931 – present) is a New York based eco-feminist artist.  Aylon’s works, spanning over four decades, have primarily addressed biological, ecological and theological issues from a feminist perspective. Her work is featured, in the series The Word of God, because of its focus and commentary on the Hebrew Bible. The Word of God: Helène Aylon’s The Liberation of G-d and The Unmentionable, continues Aylon’s ideas of how G-d has been confined by human translation.

Heléne’s art has shown itself to be a unique mixture of performance art, installation art, process-based works, and protest art. The G-D Project is a continuing project. It began in the 1990s and continues into the present. The original goal of the project was to examine the Torah and philosophical teachings with a feminist eye, but with the turn of the century the work has become more autobiographical about her own experiences as an Orthodox Jew.

The Liberation of G-D is part one of a four-part installation titled, Trilogy and Epilogue.The Liberation of G-D features a series of books—multiple copies of the five books of Moses, which form the Torah. In each book Aylon has highlighted passages which offend her feminist and humanist outlook. “I highlight over words of/vengeance, deception, cruelty and misogyny,/words attributed to/G-d/… I do not change the text/but merely look at this dilemma,” writes Aylon about her process in a proclamation scroll.  The books are all displayed on a wall behind a set laid out for viewers of the exhibition to examine. Beside this display is a video of Heléne Aylon completing the actual act of highlighting each passage by hand. The video shows only her hand, and allows you to hear the marker across the page and the crinkling parchment as she highlights words in pink. “I ask;” writes Aylon, “When will/G-d/ Be rescued from/Ungodly projections/In order to be/G-d?”