Helène Aylon’s Artist's Statement

…[I]n 1990, I covered every page from the Five Books of Moses with transparent parchment, and, with a pink marker, I highlighted over words of misogyny and vengeance, cruelty and militarism, words attributed to G-d, and I highlighted between words where a female presence is omitted. Whenever I read that ubiquitous phrase, “And the Lord said unto Moses,” I looked long and hard because should we not be absolutely certain there is no misquote when someone (even Moses himself) quotes G-d? I called this action, “The Liberation of G-d.” I spelled the word God with a G, a dash, and a D as I was taught in my religious upbringing, but the dash is now pink… And I asked: When will G-d be rescued from ungodly projections in order to be G-d?

You see, I have come to believe The Five Books of Moses are indeed the Five Books of Moses, not the Five Books of G-d.

For this self-portrait, I stood in front of “The Digital Liberation of G-d,” a version of “The Liberation of G-d” using computer shading instead of a pink marker. I allowed the projected texts to cascade over my face – the same texts projected onto me in my Orthodox upbringing in Borough Park, in my schooling at the Shulamith School for Girls, in marriage to an Orthodox rabbi at age 18, in widowhood on my 30th birthday.

But the pull of nostalgia could not move my feminist stance.

From the Jewish Women's Archive's exhibit: Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution. 2005.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Helène Aylon’s Artist's Statement." (Viewed on May 9, 2021) <https://jwa.org/media/hel-ne-aylon-s-artists-statement>.


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