Through her art, Helène Aylon explored the intersectionality among her feminism, the Orthodox Judaism of her upbringing, and her place in a war-torn world. Married to an Orthodox rabbi at 18 and widowed at 30, Aylon investigated her faith and her feminism through installation art and performance art. In “The Liberation of G-d,” she highlighted misogynistic passages attributed to God by male speakers in the Torah. In “My Bridal Chamber: My Marriage Bed/My Clean Days,” she projected shifting images onto a white bedsheet to represent menstrual impurity while a cascade of voice recordings counted the waiting times between periods and ritual baths. In 1982, as part of an eco–feminist performance piece to rescue the earth, she drove an “Earth Ambulance” across the country, stopping at nuclear bases to “rescue” earth in pillowcases donated by hundreds of women. Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Jewish Museum, MoMA, and the Whitney Museum.
More on Helène Aylon
- The Feminist Revolution: Helène Aylon
- Lesson Plan: Wrestling with God and Jewish Tradition
- This Week in History: Opening of "Too Jewish?" exhibit featuring work of artist Helène Aylon
- Blog: Happy Earth Day! … with a Jewish, liberationist twist
- Blog: Helène Aylon: Artist, Ecofeminist, Author
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Helène Aylon." (Viewed on March 5, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/aylon-hel-ne>.