Art, Or Abortion?

Meanwhile, in other Ivy league news, a Yale art student has a queer aesthetic:

Beginning next Tuesday, [Aliza] Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

This chick’s either vilely pretentious, a genius or just plain insane. And we imagine her womb looks like a Pollock.

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  • CitizenGeek

    That’s just plain bizarre. I certainly don’t agree with it, and I doubt I could stomach looking at the collection.

  • foofyjim

    Ewww. I don’t like to watch video of a normal, full-term child birth. I can’t imagine viewing any of this without a visit to the bathroom afterwards to vomit. I would like to read about her thoughts on this collection. I’m wondering if there is some deeper thought behind her art or if was all just for the shock factor.

    By the way, the Turkey baster graphic is perfect.

  • ben


  • Woof


  • Dawgson

    Someone should have discussed this with her, and hopefully stopped her. Did she have a faculty advisor who approved this?

  • Dawgson

    I’m pro-choice but after having read the article I feel like this should be a prosecutable offense.

    To address this as a “gay” issue, there are so many LGBT people would love to be parents but can’t. Meanwhile, this woman creates and destroys life as “art.”

    I think this is sophomoric, immature, and a crime against humanity.

  • PalePhoenix

    While I would expect men, particularly gay men, to cringe at this “art of self-infliction,” it’s little different from the work of her predecessors, some of whom shot themselves, electrocuted themselves, or just stuck bullwhip handles up their asses for comedic effect. You think there weren’t people who gagged at that?

    My problem with this is one of personal health. What faculty advisor signed off on this self-torment, I wonder? Abortifacients are NOT like Pez or aspirin. They do not wash calmly through one’s system as they do their work. Furthermore, this is a ‘collaboration’ (sperm donors get no credit?), and did she test them all for STDs, like HIV, before “injecting herself?” It’s not worth rendering yourself incapable of bearing children in the future, for the sake of art.

    If I were her prof, I would have told her the concept was intriguing, but like many things on the Science side of the Arts ‘N’ Sciences, there are ethics boards to deal with matters of safety and acceptable risk to participants. All this aside, she’s got people thinking about how abortion is sometimes (not ALWAYS) trivialized, but I think the advantages of that were far outweighed by the danger she put herself in.

    As for those who would automatically balk at the idea of multiple, pointless abortions, I was reminded of the “Family Guy” ep where the son, Chris, smeared himself with bacon grease to make new ‘talking zits.’ He then killed them all. Obviously, people need to be reminded that there’s more biological matter in a whitehead than a few-days-old blastocyst.

  • CitizenGeek

    I’m in full agreement with Dawgson! Well said!

  • leomoore

    PalePhoenix is closest to my viewpoint. Abortifacients are serious chemicals. She seems to think it’s safe because it’s herbal. Nightshade is herbal, but the last person to make frequent use of it was Lucretia Borgia. Castor beans are herbal but are also the primary source of ricin, one of the most potent poisons known.

    I will add another aspect. As a woman, she has the power to bring a new life into the world. It seems an abuse of this power to use it for an art project. I am pro-choice but do not view abortion to be a legitimate form of birth control.

    Choosing to end a pregnancy that was unintended, the result of rape, or riskier than an abortion is one thing. To deliberately and repeatedly impregnate one’s self in order to abort the pregnancy for an art project is just wrong. The males who donated to this project are just as culpable as she is.

  • jarvisbearcub

    There is no way she would have passed the ethical/legal review for this project at most universities which requires an examination of the physical safety of the subject.

    Still though… I think a producer at the O Reilly Factor just had multiple orgasms reading this. This should be a topic for them for at least a week.

  • stupid

    It’s not a hoax. It is an art piece, like the artist said all along.

  • PalePhoenix

    This is a hoax.

    Good. It sounded “Fishy to Impossible,” and it was unlikely that Yale would ever have opened itself up to both ridicule and loss of accreditation. Let’s hope the O’Reilly Factor doesn’t get the update.

    And are you implying I’m not a sissy boy? ;)

  • sugarsmack

    I hope this is just a hoax. The message is the same even if, secretly, she is only pretending to have inseminated herself and aborted repeatedly. If she did actually do it, she’s an idiot as it was only neccessary to appear as though she did it. That aside, it is a bold statement on freedom and the use of one’s own body for the purposes of art.

  • sugarsmack

    It’s like the Divine eating dog shit scenario. It’s not important that it is real dog shit. It’s important that we really believe it’s dog shit. That shit’s legendary.

  • Erick

    Its not a hoax.

    The article in the Yale paper is the art piece, its a performance.

    There is a difference.

  • matar paneer

    It’s not a hoax but the actual events are ambiguous as the artist intended them to be. I guess, all in all, this whole thing was successful in that it got people talking about everything from abortion indulgence to pretentious student art projects. When I was in art school, one of my pieces in our senior show was a giant pillow with a blown-up photo of my balls on it. Now that was Art. :)

  • Stanton Moran


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