Monday, April 21, 2008

More from Yale and Aliza Shvarts

Shvarts has written a guest column explain her "art." She somehow believes that her "art" of artificially inserting herself with semen, taking some herbs (which were supposedly abortifacient) and then saving the fluid which comes out of her body "call(s) into question the relationship between form and function as they converge on the body" and "creates an ambiguity that isolates the locus of ontology to an act of readership. An intentional ambiguity pervades both the act and the objects I produced in relation to it. The performance exists only as I chose to represent it." Shvarts also claims, "The reality of the pregnancy, both for myself and for the audience, is a matter of reading."

Yeah, uh-huh. Shvarts seems to fail to understand that just because she may not be certain of whether she was pregnant or not doesn't mean the reality of whether she was pregnant or not is up for grabs.

One commenter at Feministing had this to say about Shvarts' explanation:
Pompous, pretentious twaddle. And hurtful, too, to those of us who have actually suffered from losing a pregnancy--either by way of abortion or by way of a miscarriage. I've done it both ways, and her wordy pseudo-intellectual psychobabble doesn't give me some kind of artistic epiphany. Her style of "art" doesn't make me think about my life or anyone else's in a new way. It makes me think that she's an attention-sucking, ego-inflated dingbat who's milking her 15 minutes for all it's worth.

The pro-choice group at Yale wrote a letter to the editor where they note they "stand by the right to reproductive freedom, we cannot approve of her approach and presentation." and "Like most who have heard of these events, we are shocked by the content of the art piece in question and the manner in which very serious aspects of reproductive rights have been treated."

The New York Sun has an article with some background information on Shvarts and some of her past "art" projects.
Ms. Shvarts also railed against those who take a narrow view of what constitutes art. "People have to stop being so dismissive about what art is. It has to stop hanging on the wall. It has to be something lived, breathed every day," she said.
People who think mixing their menstrual blood with vaseline is art certainly would like it if people took a wider view of what art is.

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