A Yale University art student is causing a national controversy with her senior art project that revolves around self-induced abortions. Aliza Shvarts says she artificially inseminated herself ‘as often as possible” in order to become pregnant and reportedly used herbs to cause abortions.
Shvarts, a senior art major, intentionally caused the death of the babies with the herbs.
Afterwards, she allegedly saved her blood and the blood from each of the babies she killed to create an art display.
The display consists of a cube with video footage she took of the miscarriages on either side and a canvas in the middle with paintings created from the blood.
It was a hoax, a Yale spokesperson claims:
Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.
She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.
Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.
(via Hit and Run)
Update: Maybe not a hoax after all…
April 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm
is the hoax art?
April 19, 2008 at 1:52 am
Shortly after Yale sent out their statement, Shvarts rebutted. She says that we don’t know how often her attempted impregnation succeeded, but has videos of her trying–and of her process at the end of each cycle.
Not a hoax.
She’s quite the pariah today, it seems. There is absolutely no support for her anywhere in the top many Google hits that I can see. It’s a shame.
Forget that it’s art for a second (even though that’s important). It’s not like she had babies and cut them up. She basically have fake unprotected sex, then made sure to have a period at the end of the month. Two weeks…and nobody knows if she was “successful” even once. Ok, well, I’ll stop there since I’m apparently heading towards writing a pro-choice essay.
April 19, 2008 at 5:55 pm
“Shvarts . . . intentionally caused the death of the babies with the herbs.”
Since Shvarts never knew if she was pregnant or not, there could be no “intent.” Nor could there be death since there was never any birth. Nor were the entities “babies,” rather, if anything, they were zygotes*. Finally, as stated implicitly, who knows if any zygotes even existed, or if they were even killed.
However, one could argue that this was done in extremely poor taste. It’s one thing to abort an unwanted pregnancy, it’s another to deliberately become pregnant for the purpose of having an abortion. And doing it in a serial fashion for an art project . . . .
I certainly understand how blood could be boiling over this.
* Denotes my uncertainty over correct term.
April 25, 2008 at 11:26 pm
Fuck the haters. This is some seriously valid material.
Abortions are legal, constitutionally protected practices. Her art project pushes the boundaries of good taste, yes. Of ethical behavior, yes. But inasmuch as that fact forces those who hear about this project to confront their own feelings on the subject of abortion, on the meaning of life and whether you really feel that a slowly growing week-old bundle of cells with no heart and no brain is a being on a level greater than the moth frying itself on your bug zapper. It as a piece of art stirs up great emotion and self-reflection while breaking no laws and harming nothing capable of feeling.
Even without seeing it, her work can only be qualified as a success. Those who seek to distance themselves from the artist reveal their intellectual cowardice.
That said, much of that aspect of the project is left unsaid in the article– was it an integral part of her creative process that she mentioned but went unreported on? Or did she not consider the ethical questions and audience response beforehand?
I suppose that if you don’t think abortions are awesome, you might have a big problem with her project (if you even want to call them abortions in this case). Me, I don’t personally have a problem with abortions. More the merrier! I like to dine on zygote soup. It is so delicious, the taste of tiny babies.
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