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Whatever is Contained Must Be Released
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Helene Aylon, is a visual, conceptual, and installation artist and eco-feminist whose work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Whitney Museum and the Jewish Museum in New York, the Aldrich Museum in Connecticut, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

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Whatever is Contained Must Be Released

My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist
Helene Aylon

Growing up an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn, Helene Aylon spends her Friday nights in a sea of extended family as the Sabbath candles flicker. She dreams of escape but marries a rabbi and becomes a mother of two. Suddenly her world splits apart when she is widowed at thirty. Aylon finds a home in the burgeoning environmental art scene of the 1970s—creating transgressive works that explore identity, women's bodies, the environment, disarmament, and the notion of God. Eventually she asks of Judaism what she never dared to ask as a child: Where are the women?

Examples of Aylon’s work included are her early doors for the Jewish chapel at JFK airport, her peace pillowcases (including one worn by Grace Paley), and her current search for the links between feminism and Judaism

"Never afraid to question sacred texts, ancient rituals, and religious bias—Aylon is a role model for all artists. Whatever is Contained is an arresting tale of uncommon courage, intelligence, and wit."

—Gail Levin, author of Lee Krasner: A Biography and Becoming Judy Chicago

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