Aliza Shvarts is One Sick Puppy

“I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity. I think that I’m creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be.”

Aliza Shvarts

Yale Daily News – For senior, abortion a medium for art, political discourse Ok, now I’m still not convinced 100% that this story is even true. It’s published in the Yale Daily News though and at least the Kansas City Star has published on it so I’ll go with it for now realizing it could very well be a hoax.

The situation is this. Apparently Yale Art Major Aliza Shvarts for her senior art project artificially inseminated herself as many times as she could over a nine month period. Then she used abortifacient drugs with each insemination to induce miscarriages. She videotaped her experience going through the process and this is her art project.

Certainly this is going to set the Prolifers off to no end. But I’d hope really that most human beings, both Pro Life and Pro Choice, would have a problem with this one.

Reproductive rights and the whole abortion debate is a really tough subject ethically to start with. But even if someone believes that a woman who ends up with an unwanted pregnancy has a right to terminate it, it’s one thing to have an accident and see abortion as the only way out of a bad situation, it’s quite another thing to purposely create life with the sole purpose of destroying it in the name of art over and over again.

Shvarts says that her a art was not made for “shock value” but rather is a legitimate exploration of the interaction between art and the human body. I think this is bullshit. I think she absolutely did this to create shock value.

I also wonder about the art advisor at Yale that would approve such an art project — if there even was one. If Aliza Shvart’s project was approved by Yale faculty, I’d also question their judgement with regards to this undertaking.

I love art. I make art every single day. Much of my life is dedicated to art. This is not art in my opinion. This is poison. As much as I’m sure that Shvarts pulled this PR stunt to get into the news and gain her 15 minutes of fame, I wonder what sort of long-term effects that this course of action will cause her.

I worry that for Shvart’s sake that there may be psychological consequences to go with her actions that she has no idea about yet.

I also worry that in a world where Pro Life people can take things far enough to murder doctors, that she might even be setting herself up to be murdered. This will enrage many people to no end.

Personally I think it’s sad. And I think she’s sick. And a big part of me really hopes that this article from the Yale Daily News really is one big hoax.

Update: More from Michelle Malkin here. More from the Washington Post here.

Update: Fox News is now reporting that Yale University claims that Shvart did not impregnate herself or induce miscarriages as part of this “art,” based on a statment made by Yale associate dean and vice president for public affairs Helaine S. Klasky:

“Her art project includes visual representations,” Klasky wrote. “[Schvarts] 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 wrote. “Had these acts been real they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.”

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26 comments on “Aliza Shvarts is One Sick Puppy
  1. Jeremy says:

    Sick, sick, sick. Not art and most definitely done trying to be as attention grabbing and beyond the edge as possible. I feel bad that she is getting the attention she desires because the next person like her who will look for the next step further.

  2. mlong says:

    I could only read about 1/2 of what you wrote. Felt like I was going to puke. If this IS TRUE she has some really serious psychological issues 2 work out.

  3. Trev says:

    I feel really sorry for her. Man, she is way out of touch. It’s sickening.

  4. Dave Zatz says:

    Could this be real?? I’m no mental health professional, but this behavior seems more than just an art project or political statement – it’s a sickness.

  5. Syd says:

    I keep trying to type up a comment to this — but I just can’t get my brain around it. Overall, it makes me feel extremely sad for the girl, her body, the fetuses, and art.

  6. Michael says:

    I was also outraged by this. But, like you, I started to ponder whether this was real or not. There are too many elements that are individually implausible. Taken as a whole this seems quite unlikely.

    1. The professor would have to be really out to lunch to approve or not be aware of the project.

    2. If the professor did approve it, they would have to be completely unaware of any medical liability issues as a result of this.

    3. How many guys would genuinely consider donating sperm for this? A few would, perhaps, but she implies there are multiple donors.

    4. The herbal abortifacient drugs she would have taken have a very high incidence of hemorrhaging and liver/kidney damage.

    5. If she researched the existence of these drugs, surely she would be aware of these risks.

    6. Unless she’s super-fecund, the odds of her getting pregnant enough times in 9 months to make this viable are pretty slim.

    7. The odds of her getting pregnant through artificial insemination are even slimmer.

    8. It seems unlikely that none of her friends would oppose her doing this.

    9. The art installation itself is awfully lame. It’s practically a joke. If she were to do this thing for real, I can’t imagine someone going through that much effort and abuse to produce something that is so singularly unimpressive.

    10. It seems unlikely that someone could go through something like this and not have some sort of emotional investment in it.

    So all of these things oppositions are a bit unlikely in and of themselves. But when combined together, it pushes this toward being faked in my opinion.

    Which raised a question: If it’s faked, what’s the point?

  7. DeborahSmith says:

    As horrible as it is to believe I’m afraid that at this point it appears to be true. The advisor that approved it is known for being a “deeply untalented and delusional performance artist” Michelle Malkin has pretty much the same story along with some links.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Beyond sick and disturbing! I am currently 10 weeks pregnant and my baby is fighting for life…his or her heartbeat is extremly low and I have been told the pregnancy will likely not continue. I am heartbroken! How can this so-called artist be so callous torwards the lives she created just to gain 15 mins of undeserved fame?

  9. Thomas Hawk says:

    I was also outraged by this. But, like you, I started to ponder whether this was real or not. There are too many elements that are individually implausible. Taken as a whole this seems quite unlikely.

    Michael, like you I definitely have my own suspicions about this story. This is why I thought it was important for me to write that it very well could be a hoax.

    I suppose over the course of the next few days we’ll find out or not. If it’s not a hoax I’d suspect that something this controversial will see the mainstream press, NY Times, CNN, etc. in the next few days.

    I do hope it is a hoax because I’m very saddened by the art and feel that it represents a continuation of artists using shock value in what I feel to be the most basic of human morals and value.

    I’ve previously written about other artists using shock value in their work. I took a lot of heat over some of my views when Jill Greenberg purposely made toddlers cry in order to photograph them. At that time I worried that part of that art would send a message to other artists to continue to push the envelope.

    I’ve also read troubling recent unconfirmed reports about other art — like a guy who allegedly let a stray dog starve to death as performance art.

    I worry that shock and extremism is increasingly being used by artists to shout louder and louder in a crowded art world.

    I do hope that this is in fact a hoax.

  10. Anonymous says:

    She’s not sick.

    She is Evil.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This girl is just out of her mind. She thinks she is stimulating meaningful public discourse when in fact all she has done is make an entire nation think she’s a total whackjob who gets a kick out of getting knocked up and having abortions. And pro-choice feminists will all be clamoring for her right to smear vaginal fluid and blood all over a cube of plastic? Oh yeah…well where’s my right to jerk off on their faces and hang them from a ceiling?

  12. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/04/17/yale-students-abortion-art-claim-scam

    She’s not sick or evil. She’s just a (perhaps unusually) dumb product of the kind of society in which a substantial number of people think Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and, for that matter, Michelle Malkin are describing the world clearly.

  13. Debra says:

    One can only hope that one day when she decides it’s time to become a mother she will find that her womb is scarred and barren–

  14. Anonymous says:

    I wish it were a hoax, but it was published yesterday, which makes it a bit too late for April Fools Day.

    What a shame…destroying her body and her reputation and future fertility for her “art.”

  15. Travis Shotwell says:

    if this is true…it’s very amazing. she can use my sperm if she wants.

  16. cmiper says:

    It’s apparently a lie, and is a “creative fiction” piece of “performance art”.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351608,00.html

    …she’s still an idiot.

  17. Thomas Hawk says:

    Thanks for the update cmpier. I for one am really glad that this turns out not to be true.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who cares if it was true or not? Hell, life is created and destroyed ALL THE TIME. Maybe if people stopped being “OMG I’M SO SHOCKED AT THE FACT PEOPLE HAVE ABORTIONS” we could actually have a civil conversation about such things. Sure, you can be concerned about her mental welfare after this, but she’s doing it to herself! WHO CARES!

    Do all you people freak out like the sky is falling at body modification as well?

    There’s billions and billions of potential lives out there being discharged in one method or another every minute. Just because it finally got it’s complete DNA make-up doesn’t give it all that much more “meaning”.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hoax, art project, or whatever, Aliza Shvarts destroyed several minutes of my life which I’m not getting back.

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is bogus narcisstic artifice. The product of a self-righteous juvenile mind. Her fifteen minutes of fame will be over,and she’ll be but a vague memory in a month.

  21. cmiper says:

    Apparently she didn’t get enough attention at home as a child, she now claims that she did in fact perform said acts, but there’s a little catch to her truthfulness…

    http://yaledailynews.com/articles/view/24528

  22. Anonymous says:

    If karma works it’s magic, she probably won’t be able to reproduce ever again. I surely hope this was all worth it for her…

    And I don’t think the world will mourn the sterility of this particular crazy woman.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Aliza Shvarts: Great artist of my generation, or greatest artist of my generation? She is the Muse of Lulz. Reading the story truly boggled my mind. It seems not like something that happened in reality in New Haven, Connecticut, but some kind of Greek myth, like Kronos and Rhea.

    Yes, she did something that seems utterly insane. That is what all inventors do, what all pioneers do.

    Similarly, there was a time in this country when miscegenation was widely seen as revoltingly disgusting, or more recently, homosexuality. Your close-mindedness saddens me, sir.

  24. Anonymous says:

    “…based on a statment made by Yale associate dean and vice president for public affairs Helaine S. Klasky:

    ‘…Had these acts been real they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.'”

    “Basic ethical standards?” Did a Yale official just admit that abortion is unethical? Hee hee!

  25. If you saw DuChamp’s “fountain” (urinal upside down), you would probably be inclined to believe this stupid bitch is sincere in her psychotic “art”.

  26. anonymous says:

    I believe she was excersising her reproductive rights.