Helène Aylon Exhibit at Brandeis


Afterword: For the Children, an exhibition by Helène Aylon.
Monday, March 20, 2017 – Friday, June 16, 2017.
Tuesday, March 21, 5:00 pm Introduction to the exhibition with Helène Aylon. 
Tuesday, March 21, 6:00-8:00 pm Artist Reception. 
Read David Sperber’s essay in the catalog here. “Our forefathers were searching for God, but they found only themselves.” Helène Aylon Afterword: For the Children (Cat.), Waltham, MA: Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, pp. 10–12.

helene-aylon-black-image-air-commandments-smInternationally-acclaimed Jewish feminist artist Helène Aylon presents her conclusion to The G-d Project: Nine Houses Without Women, her 20-year series highlighting the dismissal of women in Jewish traditions and text. In Afterword: For the Children, Aylon dedicates her finale in the series to the future generations, challenging all who regard The Ten Commandments not to shrug off a dark foreboding which emanates in her view, from the patriarchy – not from God.  The text of the Third Commandment holds future generations responsible for the sins of their fathers. The artist’s examination of this text reveals a universal dilemma through its connection to contemporary policies and practices that shape the world our children will inherit. The concept of “Tikkun Olam” (correction of the world) holds significance in Aylon’s immersive digital installation, as her continuous attempt at “repairing” the revered text becomes a quiet yet assertive protest.

Helène Aylon is a multi-media, issue-oriented artist who studied with Ad Reinhardt at Brooklyn College (1960.) The Women’s Caucus for Art presented her with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Aylon has written a memoir, Whatever Is Contained Must Be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life As A Feminist Artist, published by the Feminist Press.

In the 70’s Aylon showed process paintings that allude to the body and the aspect of change. These were shown at Betty Parsons Gallery and White Columns “112 Workshop.” Three of these paintings also known as The Breakings have been acquired by SFMoMA. Aylon refers to this series as Bio-logical Feminism.

In the 80’s Aylon created an Earth Ambulance, driving it to military sites nationwide. The earth near these bases was “rescued” in pillow cases scripted with women’s dreams and nightmares pertaining to nuclear war. It was brought to the mass rally for disarmament at the UN in 1982 before being shown at Creative Time at the end of the Cold War and was acquired by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Aylon refers to this era as Eco-logical Feminism.
In the 90’s, Aylon sought to “rescue” God (“whatever God may be”) from patriarchal projections. The Warhol Museum borrowed The Liberation of G-D that had been acquired by the Jewish Museum. This began the G-D Project: Nine Houses Without Women that was shown at the Hammer Museum (LA) and the Contemporary Jewish Museum (SF.)
Now in 2017, Afterword: For the Children, is the finale to The G-D Project: Nine Houses without Women. Aylon sees this as Theo-logical Feminism.Aylon’s exhibition “Afterword: For the Children” will travel to the Jerusalem Biennale 2017 opening on October 1st, 2017.                                                                        
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research, artistic projects and public engagement.The world’s only academic center of its kind, the HBI provides research resources and programs for scholars, students and the public. The Institute publishes books and a journal, convenes international conferences and local programming, and offers competitive research awards and internship programs.
Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University515 South St., Waltham, MA 781-736-8102 M-F 9-5