Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2019-20

(Brooklyn, NY)Leah Aron

Project Description

The floor is littered with hundreds of crumpled pages: extremely personal remnants of several rehab stints from my early adult years. Handwritten journal entries, therapy handouts, and assignments, letters to loved ones I wrote while I was institutionalized, as well as other written artifacts from this time period. I gather the papers, walk to an ironing board and proceed to smooth the pages and iron them one by one. Once “pressed,” I place them on the surrounding walls creating a collage of my battle with addiction, repeating this ritual for six hours. What starts off as blank walls becomes an overwhelming tapestry revealing an intimate yet universally understandable inner conflict: the fight to recover. I seek to foster empathy, dialogue, understanding, and HOPE in my community by creating an installation which viewers can actually enter and interact with the materials as well as the artist.


Leah Aron is a New York-based performance artist interested in methods and aesthetics that are not traditionally associated with standards of perfection. The calamity of being female saturates her work. Her main goal in performance is to achieve altered states of consciousness, exploring the polarity of embodied experience from exhaustion to exhilaration, pain to pleasure. Aron’s body is her medium, often working with duration, repetition, movement, and stillness. Finding inspiration in her self-described surreal perception of moving through the world, she stages acts of desire and repulsion that unmask the power and trauma of identity. She holds a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theater Wing.

Images (left to right): 1. Photo by Antoine Lutens. 2. Photo by Mark Shaw. 3. Photo by Miao Jiaxin. 4. Photo by Mark Shaw.