Friday, April 18, 2008

Yale: For senior, abortion a medium for art, political discourse *Updated and Bumped*

UPDATE: More confusion.

First a statement from Yale saying it was all a hoax:

Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson
New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

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.

Then a rebuttal by the "artist":
But Shvarts stood by her project, calling the University’s statement “ultimately inaccurate.”. . .

But Shvarts reiterated Thursday that she repeatedly use a needleless syringe to insert semen into herself. At the end of her menstrual cycle, she took abortifacient herbs to induce bleeding, she said. She said she does not know whether or not she was ever pregnant.

“No one can say with 100-percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen,” Shvarts said, “because the nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties.”

This afternoon, Shvarts showed the News footage from tapes she plans to play at the exhibit. The tapes depict Shvarts — sometimes naked, sometimes clothed — alone in a shower stall bleeding into a cup.

Pia Lindman, Shvarts’s thesis adviser, and Davenport College Dean Craig Harwood could not be reached for comment Thursday. Art Director of Undergraduate Studies Henk van Assen deferred comment to the Yale Office of Public Affairs. . .

So it's hard to know at this point who is telling the truth and who isn't. But it's obvious Shvart has bought into the mindset that says there is no absolute Truth.

I think this commentary by Warner Todd Huston on probably states it best [boldface mine]:
. . . What is really the truth with this so-called "art" project, though, is that Shvarts has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Yale Daily News, the willing dupes who claim to be her professors, and anyone reading this story on Drudge and believing she really induced her own miscarriages. It's all a hoax.

Or, if not an outright hoax, it’s a misleading tale of a girl who hasn't a clue about how one becomes pregnant, what the fake drugs she took are really capable of doing, and the psychological pain of a real miscarriage.

It's also proof that our sources of news rarely if ever employ any common sense in how they write up the news. A tiny bit of logic put to this story of "self-induced miscarriages" would reveal it to be all stuff and nonsense.

But, no, what we get instead is the story reported as if it is fact and not the cynical efforts of a kid that just wants her 15 minutes of fame. It is also proof that the liberal side of the abortion debate leads the ideological mindset of the news. . .

Seems very grave and serious, doesn't it? This girl put her body through the repeated physical abuse of impregnation and miscarriage for her "art." If this were true, it would have been quite a physical ordeal.

In fact, if it had really happened, I'd imagine that she might possibly have put her health, or at least her future ability to become pregnant, at risk. But, in truth she was likely never pregnant, she never had any "miscarriages" and there was nothing but common menstrual fluids resulting.

What was her "process?" How did she create these so-called miscarriages?

She asked boys she knew to donate sperm (she claims she also asked them to have tests for sexually transmitted diseases), she supposedly implanted that sperm into herself, and then she took these claimed herbal concoctions misleadingly called "abortifacient drugs" to end the pregnancy with forced miscarriage.

The main question is, was she ever pregnant? I have to say most likely no.

The "turkey baster" method of implanting semen for impregnation is very ineffective, though known to be successful. Sperm does not live for too long once it hits the open air, so implantation would had to have occurred quickly after the issuing of the fluids. So, to assume that this girl had actually impregnated herself is not a good bet. . .

Read it all. As for me, I think Aliza needs our prayers and, hoax or not, this is the product of a very immature and possibly disturbed mind. (And I keep thinking of the boys she said donated sperm. If this is true, did they know what she planned to do with it? And what is their culpability?)

Original: This story in the Yale Daily News appears to be true. If it's not, it's a sick joke. If it is true, it is so incredibly sad. Prayers are desperately needed for this student, the other Yale students that are affected by this, and of course, the babies.

You are so young in college - you think you're an adult and so hip, but you aren't and you won't realize that until years later. Often, you have no idea about the bigger issues of life, even if you do spend all night discussing them in the abstract with your classmates.

We know that Christ can forgive and offer peace, and I pray that this girl has her heart softened so that she can ask for that forgiveness.

From the Yale Daily News:
Art major Aliza Shvarts '08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, 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.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts' project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock . saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

But Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for "shock value."

"I hope it inspires some sort of discourse," Shvarts said. "Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it's not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone."

The "fabricators," or donors, of the sperm were not paid for their services, but Shvarts required them to periodically take tests for sexually transmitted diseases. She said she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages.

Shvarts declined to specify the number of sperm donors she used, as well as the number of times she inseminated herself. . .

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

The display of Schvarts' project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery of Green Hall. Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts' self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting.

Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathrooom tub, she said. Similar videos will be projected onto the walls of the room. . .

Read it all.

1 comment:

Hening said...

This all on the same day NH Bishop Robinson was interviewed on NPR (National People's Radio), and explained that the Episcopal Church feels that abortion is between you and God. If you can't afford to raise a child or have other concerns, it is a decision that you need to consider.