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Art and Lies

April 17th, 2008 Posted in crappy art, People are Stupid, wimps, WTF

Well, I thought today would be a normal day that I would just go to work, come home and then do some animation, but after visiting my two ‘touch base’ blogs that I always check in with I had to write this.

Over on Jennifer’s site and also on Rachel Lucas’ site are some posts about a Yale art student who has “created” an instillation work that is disturbing if only for the lack of care or respect that the young woman has for her own body or for pregnancy. There is also another article that Rachel posted about a so-called ‘artist’ whose work was to do replicas of the American flag, place them on the ground and invite people to step on them. To my mind, these two “artist” are linked in a number of ways so I am going to look at and deconstruct their work as best as I can.

In the case of Aliza Shvart’s her project is described by the school’s paper this way:

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.”

Now, going from this statement the entire point of her thesis is to tackle the line between art and the human body but she says she wasn’t going for shock value. This statement alone shows that she is either a liar or an idiot, I will go with liar. She knew exactly what her piece would do and made sure that the paper knew about it so that she could get exposure and have her name in the news and get people talking about her. Unfortunately, it worked because here we are.

There are at least a hundred other ways to explore the whole “relationship of art and the body” so why did she choose this one? Since that question is not answered in her statement all that can be surmised is that she is either too chicken to really say what she is trying to say with this project, or she intended to cause this kind of reaction to satisfy her desire for attention. It’s probably both.

Few people outside of Yale’s undergraduate art department have heard about Shvarts’ exhibition. Members of two campus abortion-activist groups. Choose Life at Yale, a pro-life group, and the Reproductive Rights Action League of Yale, a pro-choice group, said they were not previously aware of Schvarts’ project.

Gee, how did the paper find out about it if no one outside of the art department had heard of what she was doing?

Her artist statement is a bunch of crap as well, to be blunt. The ultimate cop out of an artist is to say “I’m doing this to promote discussion”. Right, but what is your viewpoint as an artist. Any idiot can do anything and say “I want to promote discussion”, that easy, more difficult is to actually have a viewpoint and then express it, talk about it intelligently and be able to defend it. Shvart’s doesn’t even bother it seems to talk about the artwork, instead she talk about the miscarriages

Shvarts emphasized that she is not ashamed of her exhibition, and she has become increasingly comfortable discussing her miscarriage experiences with her peers.

It was a private and personal endeavor, but also a transparent one for the most part,” Shvarts said. “This isn’t something I’ve been hiding.”

So private that she used it to get herself in the news. Like many shock artist that have come before, I think we will not hear much out of her after this, unless of course she gets that NEA grant I am sure she is wanting.

The fact is art is not political no matter what the new kids might want you to believe.  Art is personal and it always will be since is a personal expression of who the artist is are and any attempt to say “Oh, I’m just trying to inspire some sort of discourse” means one of two things. 1) You don’t believe in your work and really didn’t put anything into it so there is nothing there for you to talk about and are trying to cover by saying that stupid statement, or 2) You really do have something to say but you are too scared to really explore it and talk about it so instead you are trying to dodge the issue with this lame ass statement.

If, as an artist, the best you can do to explore the relationship between your body and your art is to menstruate on camera, or perhaps have an abortion – who knows what really happened, then I would consider asking for your educational dollars back and go into accounting since you are obviously to chicken shit to really examine your subject matter and come up with an answer. Instead, you have thrown out the catch all of every art student who doesn’t want to actually THINK about their art “I’m trying to create a dialogue”. Once again, LAME

Lame statements brings us to the next so-called artist we are talking about, some nameless boob from the University of Main who decided that their art project would be to make some half-ass versions of the American flag, put them on the ground and have people walk on them. Wow, what a unique artistic idea, this one has never been done before *this is a sarcastic statement and not meant to be taken any other way*

Yet another work by someone who wants to be political but doesn’t have the necessary knowledge, skill or education to say anything intelligent so instead resorts to essentially just pissing on the flag and saying it’s art. It’s not art because there is nothing to it beyond the flimsy shell of “America sucks” which is essentially all this girl is saying.

Now, she will never come out and say that because the obvious answer of “I hate America” is to leave and she will never do that because then she will have to probably go to a country that wouldn’t allow her crybaby tantrums that she calls art and she would actually have to do something to earn a living.

Can art be political? Sure, when it comes from a deep held conviction that is then transformed by the artist into a work of art – this is not one of those times. That kind of art comes from knowledge and experience. It comes from LIVING and from DOING, not from sitting around smoking pot and listening to ‘The Revolution with not be Televised’.

This is a childish scribbling by a girl who did this work so that she can feel like she is “fighting the power” and then probably went to find out when the next Code Pink meeting was. Both of these girls (they are not mature enough to deserve the title women) show a spoiled child’s approach to the world by doing pieces that scream “Look at me!” and nothing more. There is no personal message in either work beyond the surface which leads me to the conclusion that they did not invest themselves in their work beyond the physical exertion that was required for it.

Finally, both artists show the narcissistic behavior of a child by ignoring the fact that as an artist you are free to express yourself however you wish, but just like in everything else there is also a responsibility for your work. I don’t think either of them considered that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.

If, as an artist, you have something to say about America then for the love of god please do something more than throw a flag on the ground, if you have spent that much money on an education and this is the best that you can come up with then I would consider finding another field of interest because art is really not your forte. If you have something to say about your body and art, then say it and don’t ask everyone else what they think so you don’t have to bother answering.

I am surprised really that either of these two are art students, because at my undergrad school I doubt they would have made it past freshman year.  They would have instead been given applications to work here


David Colborne has it right about both of them, though he was only talking about ‘menstural girl.

In short, she’s just an overgrown two-year-old, shitting her pants and wanting someone to marvel at her odor.

Oh, and now the art by menstural girl was all just a hoax according to Yale Amazing how quickly when the shit begins to hit the fan that they throw up their arms and say “no, no, we were just kidding..” and now she has changed her artist’s statement as well.

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

I’m going to bet that she had help with that one since it is actually somewhat articulate.  Its gone from being about “The art and the body” to being about the “ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.”


I’m calling bullshit on the updated statement too.

3 Responses to “Art and Lies”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    then I would consider asking for your educational dollars back and go into accounting since you are obviously to chicken shit to really examine your subject matter and come up with an answer.

    Hey now! Don’t go bashing the accounting people:)
    Accounting pays my bills since everything artistic that I’ve done is too personal to sell.
    I had the same thought about these two attention whores (they are NOT artists). You’ve expressed it perfectly.

  2. Instinct Says:


    The benefit of going to a REAL art school

  3. Life in 3D » Blog Archive » In Defense of Artists Says:

    […] fuckwads that want to sit around and listen to “The revolution will not be televised” or want to do shit like this are not artists at all.  They are overly indulged children who would not have survived through the […]

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