We last left Yale art student Aliza Shvarts hiding out in her apartment, perhaps filming herself in her bathtub aborting more babies.
Shvarts and Yale were at an impasse. Yale was demanding Shvarts publicly admit her planned senior “performance art” project was a hoax. Yale Daily News detailed the project to a greater extent yesterday:
… a four-foot-wide cube made from PVC piping that would be shrouded in hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting and hung from the ceiling of the gallery. Between the layers of the plastic sheeting would be coatings of Vaseline mixed with the blood collected over the previous nine months…
The misnomered “blood” was actually the product of Shvarts’ multiple self-induced abortions following multiple self-provided artificial inseminations – her own preborn children.
But Yale officials said Shvarts told them she was lying about all that, hence their order to recant or face censorship, which would yield her a failing grade for the class, altho YDN reported Shvarts would still have had enough credits to graduate next month.
But the stalemate is ending. YDN reported Shvarts is submitting an alternate art project.
So all is well. Abortion enthusiasts can relax: The negative publicity should begin to die down.
For now, anyway. My bet is Shvarts’ project will end up on display somewhere someday. In that regard, U of AZ student Matt Hathway wrote an excellent op ed for The Wildcat Online I wish I’d written:
Whether or not it happened, the response shows the level of hypocrisy that we tolerate in our culture….
Many people… have claimed that Shvarts’ art concept is repugnant and degrading of humanity. Since when is the American public so squeamish? As a culture, we are first-rate consumers of violent video games, gang-themed rap, pornography, YouTube fight clubs and gritty sensationalist journalism….
To dismiss a depiction of abortion as “offensive” contradicts the social acceptability of many other artistic media that could arguably give offense. We, the voting public, are ultimately responsible for abortion’s legal status. As such, we have no right to demand that proof of the practice be swept under the rug for the sake of our comfort….
Because the opposition to this project could not reasonably be based on the illegality of the acts displayed, a value judgment must be involved….
[A} a noteworthy Yale pro-choice students association denounced the project…. Why single out an art display centered on abortion? After all, according to most abortion supporters, it is just a choice, devoid of any rightness or wrongness. Since when does the depiction of a morally neutral act develop an identity of right or wrong? By assigning a morality to this art display, the public assigns a morality to the act displayed. If Yale should threaten to ban such a presentation, it implicitly claims an anti-abortion stance….
By dissociating the concept from the offensive act, we can tolerate the former without acknowledging the latter.
If Shvarts’ abortion art project is indeed real… we have a social responsibility to show it to the country. We already broadcast pictures of Abu Ghraib abuse, DUI- and meth-related mugshots and starving children in Haiti. By showing these uncomfortable images to the public, we are trying to confront the offensive root of these depictions…. By ignoring, censoring or banning images such as Schvarts’, we elevate abortion to pure theory while divorcing it from its practice.
The photos, videos and blood of Schvarts’ claimed project are needed to construct opinions about abortion….
Newsweek dismissed Shvarts as “the latest to try – and fail – to start a conversation:
Totally false. It was actually hypocritical liberals who stopped the conversation. And that includes Newsweek, which like all other mainstream news organizations, called Shvarts’ project an “induced-miscarriages exhibit.” It was NOT. It was an “induced-ABORTION exhibit.”
[HT for YDN story: reader Andy L.; HT for The Wildcat op ed: JivinJ; photo of Shvarts courtesy of Discover magazine