University calls art project a fiction; Shvarts ’08 disputes Yale’s claim

According to a statement released by the University today, Aliza Shvarts ’08 was never impregnated. She never miscarried. The sweeping outrage on blogs across the country was apparently for naught.

The supposed senior art project of the Davenport College senior was a “creative fiction,” a Yale official said Thursday afternoon as students on campus and bloggers across the country expressed colossal outrage over what Shvarts described as a documentation of a nine-month process during which she claimed to have artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking “abortifacient drugs” to induce 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,” Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky said in a written statement e-mailed to the News this afternoon.

But Shvarts stood by her project, calling the University’s statement “ultimately inaccurate.”

Klasky said Shvarts informed three senior Yale officials today — including two deans — that she neither impregnated herself nor induced any miscarriages. Rather, the entire episode, including a press release describing the exhibition, was “performance art,” Klasky said.

“She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art,” Klasky said. “Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.”

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.

Yale’s statement comes after a day of widespread outrage all across the country following an article in today’s edition of the News in which Shvarts described her supposed exhibition, which she said would include the video recordings well as a preserved collection of the blood from the process, which she said she is storing in a freezer.

In an interview Wednesday, Shvarts said the goal of her exhibition was to spark conversation and debate about the relationship between art and the human body. She said her endeavor was not conceived with any “shock value” in mind.

“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.”

Shvarts said her project would take the form of a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery of Green Hall. Shvarts said she would wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around the cube, with blood from her self-induced miscarriages lining the sheeting.

Recorded videos of her experiencing her miscarriages would be projected onto the four sides of the cube, Shvarts said, and similar videos would also be displayed on the walls of the room.

Many students on campus expressed outrage when told of the concept, saying it trivialized abortion and transgressed any reasonable moral boundary. On Thursday, the general public seemed to agree; by early evening Thursday, news outlets from The Washington Post to London’s Daily Telegraph had reported the story, and the blogosphere was ablaze in horrified debate over the supposed exhibition.

The project — at least the way Shvarts presented it in her press release and her interview — was immediately condemned Thursday by national groups on both sides of the abortion debate.

“It’s clearly depraved. I think the poor woman has got some major mental problems,” the president of the National Right to Life Committee, Wanda Franz, was quoted as saying on the Web site of FOX News. “She’s a serial killer. This is just a horrible thought.”

The abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America also condemned the exhibition in a written statement e-mailed to the News on Thursday.

“This ‘project’ is offensive and insensitive to the women who have suffered the heartbreak of miscarriage,” said Ted Miller, a spokesman for the organization.


  • Anonymous

    i dont know what to believe, but this - and all the ridiculous events this year - have been exhausting. i (and the office of public affairs) cannot wait for summer break.

    yalies have a lot of growing up to do.

  • Anonymous

    Real or not, it's a horrifying concept.

    I hope all measures are taken to ensure Ms. Shvarts is physically and mentally healthy.

  • What the

    >>She said her endeavor was not conceived with any “shock value” in mind … it’s not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone.<<

    This is simply an outright lie.

  • Anonymous

    Here we go again… can one side, either the YDN or the University, release some more information about what went on behind the scenes with talking to this crazy woman so we can figure out if either side is credible? At this point it's a he-said-she-said and nobody knows who to believe. The YDN should tell us what they know.

  • waitaminute

    Her art is being decried as insensitive to those who have suffered a miscarriage. Taking that condemnation to the next step, we can't have art that depicts death because lots of people know people who have died? We can't have art that depicts emotional trauma, because others have suffered emotional trauma? COME ON. If art isn't challenging emotionally and everyone whose feelings are hurt get veto power over art, the terrorists have already won.

  • calbee

    lame zzz

  • Supporter

    The Yale statement is false. Aliza did engage in the acts she stated in her press release definitely. There is video documentation. There is blood. What is ambiguous is whether or not she was successfully fertilized, but that was the point of the piece - ambiguity. The entire process was purposely ambiguous, and thus no one can say for sure what of this was real. Therefore, what Yale said is definitely false, although Aliza places no blame. She encourages discussion. To say for certain that she did not get herself pregnant is completely wrong, because this project assumes no certainties. But she did repeatedly use a syringe to insert the fabricators' semen into her body, and she did ingest natural over-the-counter herbs to undo the fertilization, had it occurred. That is true. But what is that which comes out of her body? Is it blood? An unborn child? Her own natural excrements? No matter what, it is her body. I urge you to understand that this is not about the abortion debate. It is about her body and one's understanding of reality and definition. The only overlap with the abortion debate is such that it should fall on exactly the side of the pro-choice. If one is pro-choice, then she believes that a recently conceived fetus is not a human, and its abortion is not murder. Therefore, according to the pro-choice, Aliza did nothing wrong. If one tries to assert the argument that the premeditatedness of this act somehow makes it worse, that is where the art comes in. Aliza is an artist, not a politician.

  • Outraged!

    This is absolutely wrong on so many levels! This is in NO WAY art?? Are you kidding me? She killed hundreds of defenceless baby's that did not sign up for her so called "project" How would she feel if someone masacered her family and used the blood to illustrate artwork.. it is the same thing! Not only is this morally wrong.. but I think it should be illiegal and she should be punished for her lack of respect for her unborn children. I can't even think I am so upset at this.. This woman belongs in the loony bin! She will pay her dues when her time comes..

    Totally disgusted ~

  • Anonymous

    I have been alive more than 50 years. This is the most disgusting, revolting news story I ever read with the exception of ones dealing with genocide.
    Expel this woman. Now. She is a beast. She does not deserve to be a Yale graduate, or a graduate from anywhere.
    Yale disassociate yourself from this heinous creature.

  • CB

    Oh, it's only menstrual blood then, with a show of her bleeding into a cup…oh, that's okay then,…what great art!

    How low the Ivy Leagues have fallen…ugh! Training up barbarians to lead our society are you…right, we'll all just follow our esteemed leaders, no problem. Who in their right mind would spend that kind of money for the garbage you're filling our kids minds with?

  • Anonymous

    I suppose we are supposed to breathe a collective sigh of relief now that we're informed that Ms. Sharvts merely created this diabolical fiction to explore the 'ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman's body'.

    There's nothing ambiguous about this young woman's form and functioning.

    Her narcissistic drive for attention has shamed her and Yale as it snickered at the ripples of outrage it anticipated.

    The Buckley School has expunged her from their website in the last few hours. Their best and brightest now an embarrassment.

    Before they did - it read, in part:

    "Being able to speak as valedictorian for my class is in a way, acting as a voice to and from posterity, putting into words our ambitions as we enter the world
    and our intentions for the future. It is a really big responsibility for one person to try to say all of that, but I am very honored and very excited by the challenge," said Shvarts.
    Shvarts will attend Yale University in the fall."

  • Anonymous

    Only one thing bothers me about this article. Doesn't a cube have six sides?

  • ?

    wait…so is it a hoax or not????

  • JMAN

    Today I am embarrassed to be a Yale student. As a person against abortion, I am glad that people on both sides of the abortion issue find this act repulsive as it is intellectually inappropriate. While Yale claims to be socially sensitive, it has gotten to the point where the campus environment is now insensitive to those with socially conservative values.
    How far will Yale allow and cover up the mishaps of liberal “intellectual curiosity”?

  • Em

    If she calls that art she is crazy. Why on earth would someone call murder art?

  • BAM

    How is this art? Have our standards really fallen that low? Please, someone explain to me how this is art?

  • Penn Guy

    Don't blame the Ivies generally - Yale is the only one with a fine arts major, and tends to attract these wierd people.

  • IndianPHead

    I cant believe I actually read that. That is unbelievable…

  • recent alumna

    There are things I've never understood about what goes on at my alma mater, but, true or not, I can't believe Shvarts will get credit for this. Surely there is a boundary as to what is "art." Furthermore, profoundly disturbing stunts like this one overshadow the legitimate academic work of thousands of Yalies. Why does Yale allow its reputation to suffer this way? (And alumni like to be generous, but enough is enough…)

  • Anonymous

    Is this the type of behavior Yale allows?

    She does not deserve to be a Yale graduate.

  • Anonymous

    Art can depict death, abortion, terrorism…, but to actually coldly cause these acts…I am not sure what terms to even use to describe them. I believe that a lot of psychopaths kill people for the same reason, to them, it's an art.

  • y08

    For those posters on this site who do not attend Yale, let me assure you that this girl does not represent the student body as a whole. I have yet to talk to one student here who does not find this project absolutely appalling.

    As a soon-to-be graduate of Yale, I can assure you that 99.9% of our senior projects or essays actually require intellectual and analytical rigor to complete--Shvarts is the exception. For the university to award her a diploma come May would be an insult to all of us who have actually used our time here to take advantage of Yale's vast resources.

    If she isn't sent to Ex. Comm. or medically excused from Yale, it would make a mockery of this entire school, if only for the reason that kids have been sent to Ex. Comm. for much lesser reasons (such as eating in the dining hall without paying or having a valid meal plan).

  • supporter #2

    please read the supporter comment before you post hate comments. being immature and illogical about your dissent is not a way to encourage others to take you seriously.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with comment #1. This year at Yale has felt like going to school in a rock tumbler full of contentious events. We've been knocked around with hate speech, frauds, and felons and I'm totally drained from all of it.

  • phaballa

    Um, Outraged? I highly doubt she had time to get pregnant HUNDREDS of times in nine months. At most she aborted nine embryos of three weeks old, and nine is really pushing it.

  • Alumni

    My final financial contribution to my alma mater will be LAST year! This young woman should be expelled immediately.

  • Exasperated

    All of this sudden outrage is absurd. Clearly many people need to take remedial human physiology classes. Menstrual blood is not "hundreds of babies." People are getting worked up over nothing.

  • Dear #10 and others

    and to others who are trying to project this one student's actions onto Yale or Yale students alike: don't.

    I'm a Yale student, and quite frankly, I knew nothing about this girl prior to this evening, let alone the fact that our university even had a School of Art (ok, i'm being facetious here).

    The point is, we--members of the Yale community--are neither collectively nor individually responsible for this student's actions. We had no creative input in this matter, and we certainly are not the source of her inspiration or "artistic" conceptions.

    It can't both ways. We don't project praise of an individual's artistic conception onto his or her surrounding environment. Similarly, we shouldn't do the same when it comes to criticism.

    Unless we start attributing Picasso's artistic brilliance to the country of Spain or the man who cut his hair every six weeks, we shouldn't condemn Yale University or random Yalies who may have sat beside Aliza Shvarts in the library during the winter exam period.

  • golfclap

    In the ongoing competition of "who among the attention-whoring, body-as-art 'performance artists' can be the most disgusting and profane," this woman is obviously going for gold.
    At least she's ambitious!
    And she didn't have any "shock value" in mind? If she wasn't thinking about the shock value, why would she think it warrants a press release? To add the press release as part of her 'performance' is to admit that she is very much concerned with its shocking and attention-grabbing aspects because if her art had no shock value, no one (except for maybe an art publication) would have thought to write a press release for her.
    Also, I'm sure the other art majors graduating this year are ever so grateful that in addition to making a mockery of Yale and the undergraduate art department, she has managed to completely eclipse what was also meant to be a show for THEIR senior projects. GOOD JOB.

  • solution

    here's how you solve the problem:

    1) the university should fail the senior project, on the grounds that it could encourage others to put themselves at risk or that it just kind of sucks as art
    2) the university should request she take a year long leave of absence
    3) she, asked to leave, can tell her friends she got kicked out for her art. she won't come back. and she'll be out of yale's hair.

    and won't disgrace my hard-earned diploma.

  • adele

    Supporter, thank you for finally offering an thoughtful response to this piece from an artistic point of view.

    I don't fully support Aliza's actions, and I'm not sure I don't actually hate this piece, but an artist deserves to be considered a human being and her work deserves to be thoughtfully talked about. The small-mindedness of those who have posted here calling her "mentally ill" and calling her piece 'not art' based on solely how uncomfortable it makes them feel make me more disturbed than Aliza's project does. What this project does, as demonstrated in these forums, is showcase the inability of so many to get past the "shock-value" that she knowingly confronts us with, to have the intelligent discourse that she desires.

    I too am disturbed by aliza's actions, as both someone who is pro-choice but against abortions that are superfluously chosen. But rather than immediately dismissing her as a crazy person so I can move on and pretend to be so wise as to have already dealt with these complex issues, I would rather try to think about why she would do this and the meaning of the boundaries that she has pushed. This is the more difficult and uncomfortable way to deal with these acts, but I think it is a way that is more productive.

  • let's get some perspective here

    Aliza is neither a beast nor a heinous creature, and this is CLEARLY not the most disgusting news story besides genocide. Commentor #9 should calm down, get a grip and go through the annals of the past 60 years. I'm sure he or she will find a lot of more revolting storyes. Starting with, say, things like Abu Graib.

  • denisecrane


  • Anonymous

    #7, Is that you Aliza?

    Your argument assumes that pro-choice=pro-abortion, but while the country is about evenly-divided in whether they call themselves pro-life or pro-choice, views tend to be far more nuanced than the way you portray them.

    In fact, about 60% of the country is ambivalent about abortion and weigh the rights of the mother with moral objections to abortion, and come up with some kind of nuanced policy views that involve substantial but less-than-total access to abortion. Then there are 20% or so on each side who are all or nothing. Within the abortion on demand 20%, some not-insignificant percentage still has objections to abortion. Your conception of pro-choice is an extremist fringe view that most people do not only disagree with but find offensive. Get out of your far-left bubble and talk to some real people. It will do you and your movement a great service.

  • Michael

    This is a disturbed individual!
    She and her "exhibit" should be banned from campus!
    She not an "Artist" she's a "Serial Killer"

  • shizzle

    Quoted: "Her art is being decried as insensitive to those who have suffered a miscarriage. Taking that condemnation to the next step, we can't have art that depicts death because lots of people know people who have died? We can't have art that depicts emotional trauma, because others have suffered emotional trauma? COME ON. If art isn't challenging emotionally and everyone whose feelings are hurt get veto power over art, the terrorists have already won."

    first of all, this has nothing to do with terrorists, idiot. second of all--THIS IS NOT ART!!! i am not an artist, i have no creative talent, yet i could do the exact same thing as this crazy, mentally unstable woman is doing. think about it--being an artist requires talent. yet you could pick any woman off the street and she would be able to do this, as sick and messed up as it is. THEREFORE, IT IS NOT ART. i hope she gets what's coming to her, fast.

  • PC 03

    This University has become such a joke I'm really ashamed to have gone here.

    But kudos Aliza, you've gotten all the attention you could have hoped for. Assuming you ever grow up, this cute little episode will cost you friends, family, jobs, respect, relationships, and any hope of feeling satisfied one day with how you chose to use your precious time at Yale (not to mention how you've chosen to live your life generally). You're a tedious, self-involved brat and nothing more. And all the circle-jerking from the other demented libs in New Haven about "ambiguity" and "challenging paradigms" can not change what you are. Truth be told, I'm a bit amused at the abject horror and shame you must feel creeping in all around you at this point… it will get worse with time.

  • Anonymous

    i don't know if this is true or not…either way i think she obviously has serious psychiatric problems.

    personally,i can't imagine the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual consequences that women go through when getting an abortion. i certainly don't know what i would do in an unexpected pregnancy. what this particular woman is doing is making a spectacle of this intensely personal experience, and mocking those women who have had to make such a difficult decision.

    i truly hope that this woman gets the help she so desperately needs.

  • Yale 07

    Yale needs to investigate Shvarts' claims before graduation. If she did indeed conduct these heinous crimes, she must NOT be allowed to graduate! Yale should expel her, and Shvarts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Lux et Veritas.

  • yalie '10

    I do not like this project (large understatement). But every time something like this happens, some people inevitably comment, "Aha! The Ivy League is filling their minds with garbage! Down with Yale! The Ivies are turning our children into crazed, baby-killing sociopaths!" Please, people, get over yourselves. The Ivy League is a sports division, and they are not "turning" anybody into anything. If you disagree with the project, blame the individual who did it (and possibly her adviser), not an institution comprised of thousands.

  • yalie07

    As a recent Yale alumnus, I am ashamed by this story. It is undoubtedly one of the most disgusting and disturbing things I have ever read. This young women is by no means representative of the Yale student body - never in my four years at Yale did I meet anyone with such repulsive disregard for his or her own body, with such utter apathy for the possibility that a conceptus could be a human life, or anyone who would cruelly trivialize the emotional devastation of the many women who experience miscarriage or choose to have an abortion.

    Yale should and always will stand up for academic freedom, but when a student's mental and physical health is in danger, and when a student's action could tarnish the University's reputation and hinder its mission, immediate action must be taken. If in fact this young women did what is being claimed, this project must be condemned, she must receive immediate medical attention, and her standing as an enrolled student must be evaluated by the appropriate committee.

  • Anonymous

    One question we have to ask is why the YDN fell for it. Yes it does seem that she had some tapes, but the medical part of it was a bit hazy, and plus THE IDEA WAS DISGUSTING AND CRAZY. I'll be more sympathetic to the YDN if they thoroughly checked this story (as they didn't with, say, that story about the grad who "worked for" Ron Paul, but actually didn't)

  • '03 alum

    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.”


    What inane drivel. Completely bankrupt of scholarship. I regret working at all for my degree, since they appear to be got so easily.

    She's lying to either the YDN or to Yale deans, promulgating this orgy of attention she's received. If she's lying to Yale faculty still, who (very poorly) are attempting to salvage some grace for Yale, my comments from yesterday's article hold: there's no way the advisor involved and this exhibit can continue to be associated with Yale. This is unhealthy self-exploitation, physical and mental. Whatever "commentary" on the body the student thinks she's making, the university cannot be associated with its practice. (And more, videos of menstruation might "rise" to the level of snuff pieces, but I'm pretty sure a health code or two is violated by displaying quantities of blood as an exhibit.)

    I have plenty of sympathies for stirring, controversial speech. This doesn't fall in that category. It's injurious, unhealthy behavior for which Yale can't afford to appear complicit.

  • Anon

    "Her art is being decried as insensitive to those who have suffered a miscarriage. Taking that condemnation to the next step, we can't have art that depicts death because lots of people know people who have died"

    Death is a known fact; it's unavoidable and inevitable. A miscarriage is a tragedy that many women attempt to avoid and sometimes fail. You CANNOT relate the two because they are completely different from each other.

    I don't believe that this wasn't done for shock value. Only narcissistic monster would use such a controversial topic as abortion and twist it around.

    If Yale wants to have any credibility as a respected institution of EDUCATION, they will not allow her to graduate.

  • Question

    How can Schvarts claim to have inseminated herself and to have miscarried if she does not know for sure she was ever pregnant? This is just an immature girl who wants attention.

  • Not a yalie

    She deserves summa.

  • A.C.

    I concur with #5.

    Also, while I understand that this is exactly #8's point, I couldn't help but chuckle at the phrase "defenceless baby's that did not sign up for her so called 'project'", and not just because of the grammatical mistake. But because: …as opposed to babies who did sign up for her project?

    If it really is a "hoax" and the project was creating a huge media firestorm, I think it's kind of brilliant. If it's not and she really did do this, I kind of don't care. I think a little honest ambivalence will be a breath of fresh air among all this vitriol and outrage, and I'm happy to provide it.

  • Trumbull '08

    Today at lunch, conversation centered around a certain thesis art project involving maybe-fetuses in a menstrual cocktail. What bothered me most about my post-seminar confab wasn't even the lentil minestrone I spooned to the side.
    The internet response to the piece, understandably strong, was studded with comments that "Yalies have a lot of growing up to do," remarking on "how the Ivy League has fallen." I do not menstruate, nor do I ever plan to, but I think I speak for most students in saying that 1) this project is not representative of the student body (pun intended), and 2) ew.
    In the wake of recent press concerning anonymous gossip websites, this sort of thing always seems to power its own spotlight, leaving in the dark a slew of truly awe-inspiring things that go on here. My roommate of four years was just flown to Ireland for a private interview with Gerry Adams, president of the Sinn Féin party. Our friends have recently written performance pieces about Tibetan refugees based on original research, gotten published in the Journal of Neuroscience, and acted in major motion pictures. Maybe it has become run-of-the-mill after four years in this place, but do our students go so unappreciated that shedding your uterus into a jar somehow reflects Yale's influence?


    I have to say I read an article in regards to the said above story on another site. I have to say that I am appaulled that YALE Univ. would allow this to continue, this girls "Project" should have been pulled and she should be forced to undergo mental evaluation. It DOES NOT matter if the actions she stated happened or didnt happen this type demonstration should not be allowed to go on. I have suffered a miscarriage and it is a horrible thing for anyone to have to go through and for someone to alledge what she did regardless of truth is dispicable and disrespectful toward those of us that have involunarily had a miscarriage. I have to ask what university or professor would consider this project a form of artistic expression, anyone involved should have undergo an psych eval. Just disgusted in this university and all professors involved for condoning this.

  • SW

    To # 10:

    Whatever side of the debate you fall on regarding the morality, artistic nature, or political concerns of this strange project, to blame Yale for "Training up barbarians to lead our society" and "filling our kids" with "garbage" is to scapegoat and miss the point.

    The fact of the matter is that there are over 5,000 undergraduates at Yale--all of whom, in one form or another, are very proud to be here and who happily pay tuition to be educated at a world-class school. Yale cannot possibly keep track of the projects that every single one of these 5,000 students does. Part of the reason Yalies often do so well in life is that they are original thinkers, with curiosity to boot, and a desire to try new things. Yalies come up with many, many projects that are insightful, meaningful, and beneficial to those around them. But part of education is experimentation. The university cannot possibly keep track of all that Yalies think up, and to demand they do so is ridiculous…

    More importantly, the education that Yale offer students is well-rounded (though perhaps leaning a bit to the left) and well-considered by faculty who really care about the enlightenment of their students. The suggestion that Yale is filling our minds with "garbage" is an insult to a faculty that really does its best to produce students that will effect change and betterment in the world. Yale does so much right that people like you take it for granted, and look forward to jumping on any "news" to the contrary.

    Finally, I just have say, your post wreaks with the distain of jealousy.

  • Marjorie Campbell

    This story, and the manipulation of media as to what is fact, fiction and "creative fiction" rightfully leaves us breathless, exposed guinea pigs ~ as a student, sponsoring faculty and adminstrators explore just how we "public" react to lies, corrections, restatements and, I suspect, at some point, a joint statement of truth. Is the whole thing "creative fiction", "an art piece" ~ how will the public ever know? We, my friends, are the guinea pigs! Svarts and the Yale … the "artists" experimenting on media dimensions and reactions.

  • Entartete Kunst

    I’m glad to see at least a portion of you Yalies realize what a pointless s*** storm this disgusting spectacle is raising for you. The ‘student’ should be expelled and her advisor canned, at a minimum.

  • Human

    I see two "supporters" among the rest of the commenters here. Would either of you still be supporters if, instead of attempting to abort an embryo every month, the "artist" had used the "fabricator's semen" only once, and wrapped the full-term "art" in several hundred feet of plastic at the end of the nine months?

  • Ana

    No matter your thoughts on abortion, this is just so wrong. She got pregnant FOR THE PURPOSE of having an abortion! No woman in her right mind would do that.

    If she really did this, she is just a completely selfish person who wanted the attention she is now receiving. Perhaps more disturbing than the fact that she shows such little regard for the importance of the creation of life is the fact that she seems to have no concerns about her own health - what with the blood loss and reproductive damage that multiple abortions will no doubt cause.

    I also doubt her claim that she took "herbal" products to induce an abortion. I've never heard of such a thing.

    I truly hope that this is indeed a hoax or a work of fiction. I am a liberal and pro-choice but I am absolutely repulsed by this story.

  • Current Yale Undergraduate

    "This University has become such a joke I'm really ashamed to have gone here.

    But kudos Aliza, you've gotten all the attention you could have hoped for. Assuming you ever grow up, this cute little episode will cost you friends, family, jobs, respect, relationships, and any hope of feeling satisfied one day with how you chose to use your precious time at Yale (not to mention how you've chosen to live your life generally). You're a tedious, self-involved brat and nothing more. And all the circle-jerking from the other demented libs in New Haven about "ambiguity" and "challenging paradigms" can not change what you are."

    Agree with this post. I am absolutely dismayed today.

    Ms Shvarts is a repellent individual by her own design, and I am angry that I as a fellow undergraduate must be associated with her actions, perpetrated for no less noble a goal than her seeking of attention.

    The thing that makes me most furious is that it is inconceivable that she should be allowed to have plan, conduct, and get so close to exhibiting this project without censure. Miss Shvarts' art is deeply offensive to everyone but herself, serves no political or philosophical cause, save the cathartic release of her own deep personal insecurities about herself and her body.

    It is a conclusion to her academic career that anyone in contact with her (except evidently the Art Faculty) could have seen coming from a mile - she is a desperate, prominent, flourescently insecure individual, who with every affront to the community and every rejection, feels the need to further up the stakes to prove her point. She requires medical and physical aid, not academic justification and the attention she craves.

  • eyeroll

    Headline should read, "Yale undergrad handily exposes just how stupid many people are." I like this art piece, because it has allowed my fellow Americans to increase my contempt for them.

    #36 - you obviously know nothing about art. You can be quiet now.

    #31, thank you for posting the only intelligent comment to date. I too am much less disturbed by the project than the reactions to it.

  • that'snotart

    I'm sorry, but bleeding into a cup and smearing it on a cube is not art! I consider myself fairly knowledgable when it comes to art, and this is definitely not it. It's disgusting, and she is abusing our rights as women. The fact that her miscarriages were "ambiguous" does not make it okay. The intent to kill someone is punishable, so attempting multiple abortions, whether she was pregnant or not, should also be punishable! I'm pro-choice, but no one should be able to intentionally have multiple abortions.

    So either Yale is lying to save their reputation or she is lying to get as much attention for her "art project" as possible. I really hope it's the latter. Either way, congratulations Aliza! You just proved to the world how fucked up you are in the head.

  • modern art

    plenty of contemporary artists have done dangerous things to themselves for the sake of art. should they all be expelled from art school? whether or not an embryo is deserving of rights and protections is, of course, an important discussion. but that doesn't mean that she is mentally disturbed.

  • ian

    <b>Surely there is a boundary as to what is "art."</b>

    The people that are saying that this is not art are willfully ignoring around 90 years of art history, from Duchamp's Fountain to Burden and Beuys and Klein, numerous feminist artists, filmmakers, numerous photographers, many many performance artists of all creeds.

    There is no such thing as NOT ART. There is possibly anti-art, which is art in itself, but if someone states something is an artistic act - IT IS AN ARTISTIC ACT.

    This in no way means it is a well executed, meaningful, successful artistic act, but the debate should be about the act, about the meaning, not about whether it is art or not. That's beating a dead horse.

  • Anonymous

    Real or fake, she needs her mental health evaluated.

    And I think the Washington Post summed it up perfectly: "But to many, her piece symbolized the worst of art -- shock without substance -- and of academia, with professors encouraging useless introspection."

    Enough useless introspection.

  • Anonymous

    Aliza's mental and physical health was never in danger. She committed no crimes. She created an excellent piece of art. She has the right to her own body and to free speech. EVERYONE ELSE SHUT UP, LEAVE HER ALONE, AND START THINKING ABOUT ART.

  • Anonymous

    abortion is not a miscarriage.

  • Bob

    The defenses of this are absurd. Saying we shouldn't criticize this because it's "art" is ridiculous. By that logic, one can do anything -- no matter how stupid or inane -- and we can't proclaim it to be of no value because "it's art". If I urinate in a cup for a month and turn it in as my senior project, is that worthy "art"? The hilarious part is that many of you would apparently say yes.

  • beyond shocked

    It doesnt matter if she was successfuly pregnant or not. She injected herself with sperm! That is dangerous - she could have gotten a disease that way, not to mention completely and totally disgusting and inappropriate.
    Her art supervisor should never be allowed to teach at Yale again. I cannot believe that someone would approve a project like this. Handling and displaying bodily fluids for art is dangerous and just not OK.

    This individual should be expelled asap. She is not stupid. She knew what she was doing and anyone in their right mind would know that what this project is wrong on so many levels.

    Then again, she might not be in her right mind. But either way, she should not be allowed at this university.

  • SiliconDoc

    At least the perversion of her naked in a shower stall bleeding from her private parts into a cup leaves in tact the titillating sexual pornography that these modern frauds so often have to play on for attention.
    I looked for a pic googling her name to see if I could score some idea of how good the pornography would be, but no good image results.
    I guess I'll sarcastically congradulate the sick, sick, sick minds of our modern freak youth, as a whole, for having some foreign named freak job naked and bleeding into a cup from her vagina for their latest public pornography display.
    Love that "art and baby killing results while naked in a shower" twist.
    I have wondered if James Carville ever eats fetuses, so maybe he should be invited in for a peek.
    Maybe this could be made into a sick Hollywood horror movie.

  • magdaleni

    This young woman is nuts. Lock her up in a psych ward; she mets the criteria for being a danger to herself.
    Is Yale going to exhibit her bloody rags? It is ususally illegal to have bloody products exposed in public, as it is a public health danger.
    Don't faculty members have to approve senior projects? Her advisor showed extremely poor judgment in allowing this to go on, and should be censured in some way.
    I am still not clear if Yale us going to let this exhibit happen.

  • Art

    The Marquessa de Sade turned loose in a room of mirrors in a world gone mad with pharmaceutical improvisation. Sounds like art to me.

  • norwegian

    Damn you americans are sensetive :P
    All of you people take everyday actions that have bad consequences for people all around the world, but here you have a girl who MAYBE killed a couple of fetus's, and all of you are going apeshit. Why weren't you like this when Bush got elected for the second time? Or Abu Ghraib, or whatever else event where things could've been done different.

  • NekoNeko

    If this is fake, shame on her for trying to cash in on the outrage from this. While I know that such a piece would be hard to avoid such a thing, if she truly wasn't trying to troll for reaction she would never have published that piece in the paper (or would have had a brief mention at the end that it was performance art).

    If she is truly doing this to her body, then someone needs to stop her. There is the outrage about the "unborn babies", but the more immediate danger is that to her own body. Repeated abortions (whether they are chemically or physically induced) can & will damage the body & reproductive organs. She could lose the ability to reproduce or screw her internal organs up so badly that she would require extreme medical care later on down the line. (Such as dialysis if the chemicals harmed her organs in such a manner.) She should also be screened for the potential of mental illness. Harming yourself in the name of art is not (in my opinion anyway) acceptable. If her artwork had been centered around her cutting herself, she'd have been committed already. If her artwork had centered around her taking drugs to alter her conciousness, she'd have been committed or arrested already. How is inducing repeated abortions any less of a self harm? "Her body, her choice" doesn't really apply to this situation. She's deliberately done this to herself, so actions should be taken to ensure that she doesn't do any further damage.

    This whole thing is truly stupid. If she was a good artist she would have been able to relay this whole concept into a much better formulated plan. I guess that without her starting controversey, her artwork doesn't make much of a statement.

  • John (Yale '89)

    The project does, unfortunately, reflect on Yale, because of the issue of ethical oversight (or lack thereof) by the student's adviser and department.

    My degree was in an engineering field, not social sciences or art, but for us, any university-sponsored project that we conducting involving humans or animals (even something as innocuous as conducting a poll) had to pass an ethical review before we could do it.

    I imagine that most art projects don't routinely get an ethical review, but I'd still expect an adviser to recognize when one was called for. Even as a complete hoax, this project involves deception serious enough to warrant such a review, if for no other reason that the distress to audiences and the implications for the University's reputation. (Anyone who's seen the Milgram "electric shock experiment" films that get shown and discussed in lots of Yale classes should be familiar with the ethical problems involved with academic projects based on deception.)

    And of course, if there was any reason to believe that the student *was* attempting to impregnate herself or induce an abortion or miscarriage for the sake of an art project, the project should *never* have passed ethical review, regardless of whether or not the student succeeded. This applies even if the adviser was unsure whether the student was telling the truth about her project.

    If Yale is going to offer academic credit, and display space, for a project like this, it also has to take responsibility for the ethics of the project.

  • Chris M. in Los Angeles

    I would like to know from Shvarts' thesis advisor how she arrived at the judgment that Shvarts' project was to be encouraged.

    The purpose of an editor is to edit, to critique, to steer the work away from the destructive impulses of the creator. So, why did her advisor fail to edit? Did she not have the authority to edit? Or did she not have the judgment to edit? And how does the leadership of Yale University feel about this advisor, should her judgment prove to have been defective? Should she continue to represent the university?

    I agree with a previous poster that the young woman in question is troubled, and should receive now what she should have received earlier: Appropriate counseling and care. A rational and well-functioning human being does not attempt to induce and terminate her own pregnancies, multiple times, for any reason.

  • Yale 08

    I cannot believe this girl will graduate with me in a month. Please, everyone, make your voice heard.

  • Alumnus '90

    I must admit, I am getting a bit tired of having to answer questions about Yale. This is yet another episode that, indeed, diminishes the market value of a Yale degree, it's "brand" power, if you will.

    People feel free to stop by my office and ask (as if I belonged to Yale's OPA), "Hey, what's up with you Yalies?"

    I am trying to earn a living, dammit--please stop making Yale a laughingstock (at best--e.g., from the whole Women's Center debacle) or repellent (at worst--great fodder for networking, thanks).

    I want my Yale back!

  • Disappointed Patron of the Arts

    This is not Art for Art's sake.

    This young woman has made a mockery of the pro-choice movement and has insulted hundreds of thousands of women who would give anything in world to conceive naturally or by artificial insemination.

    Both a miscarriage and an abortion are extremely personal, emotion events. Whether real or fictional, this "exhibit" laughs in the face of women who have experienced either.

    -Disappointed Patron of the Arts

  • Yalie "67

    Speaking as a physician for 37 years - these early abortions - if thats what was expelled are material small as a large hangnail.
    As to the aborter as an artist's mental health - I am concerned about her as I would be concerned about a bulimic, anorexic or other body image disorder. I would think this needs evaluation. Is it art? Well although art may be in the eye of the beholder for some, I have always felt jilted when supposed art tore people apart rather than brought them peace. The already world has plenty of disturbing stories and images to disturb the soul - and they are indeed often moral teaching points - - but I ask you - is it art?

  • Steve

    Judging by the huge amount of commentary - both inside and outside of Yale - Aliza 's project has spawned, I'd say she has definitely succeeded in her aim to promote discourse, all while promoting herself and her artistic talents. Bravo, Ms Shvarts!

  • Yale '06

    Someone sanctioned this project, whether it was as the performance art Yale is claiming it is, or as the twisted "art" project Shvarts is claiming it is.

    Who allowed this to happen? Shvarts is messed up, but she's still a student, and her department was meant to be giving her guidance throughout the year on this.

    I want to know why the Art Department either allows or encourages this kind of crap from its students while the rest of us, in other departments, were busting our asses writing senior essays as final projects.

  • Kate

    I think we can all agree that performance art is often pretentious and just kind of sucks, and this is no exception.

  • Alumnae87

    As someone who has taught art for the past 10 years, it seems to me that everyone is missing the point of making art and the particular problem with this piece specifically. Art is a viseral language; its point is to communicate something with its viewer. The piece, as described, regardless of the materials used to create it, does not communicate anything accept that she is willing to use actions and excretions of her own body as basic materials. A skilled artist has a clear message and the talent to make it accessible to the viewer not matter how disturbing or controversial the message. This student was terribly misguided thinking that this project would convey her point or open up the type of discussion she sought. I am not convinced that she actually had a point as her description of what she wanted to accomplish is too general and amorphous I am also disturbed by the lack of guidance from her senior advisor whose job it was to help her effectively convey her message. The very fact that the piece could not stand on its own and it needed a false "press release" that has been defended as part of the art piece itself demonstrates the students disturbing confusion. What would the piece communicate without the press release?

    If I were her advisor, I would not have approved this as a senior thesis project, on the simple basis that the student is not clear as to what she wants to convey and her actual process does not in any way have the remotest chance of achieving the dialogue she claims to have sought. I have not seen one comment posted that actually speaks to what was quoted as her intended goals of the piece. Did she succeed? I am not convinced that she was honest with her own goals for the piece.

    When conferred with a degree at graduation you are granted all the rights and RESPONSIBILITIES of a Yale diploma. This was an act of tremendous irresponsibility to her university, the art school and most importantly herself.
    Freedom of expression is the bedrock of our country, but with it comes a crushing responsibility which this student had no regard. I also listen to her rant as part of Pia Lindman's project on youtube and it seems to me that it would be of tremendous benefit to her to think things through before she speaks. She looked silly and inarticulate making it difficult to figure out her message, if she indeed had one.

    She is a student who has failed at her quest through art. I believe that they were many mistakes made by both her and her advisor. I would suggest that she either is graded poorly on the assignment or given the chance at a more successful project

  • anonymous female

    Horrific, despicable project aside, I really question the judgment of Helaine Klasky. Does she really believe she will get Yale off the hook by claiming it was a ‘creative fiction?’ Even if we do give Aliza and Ms. Klasky the benefit of the doubt and believe yesterday’s release was inaccurate, that does little to assuage the repulsive, flagrant disregard for women who have been so unfortunate as to have suffered miscarriages or been forced to face the difficult decision of abortion. It does little to ameliorate the slap in the face that this is to other Yale students who have put hours of research and hard work into their senior projects.

    Finally, what does Ms. Klasky believe she accomplishes by informing us that this is ‘an art piece’ about ‘the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body?’ Please, Ms. Klasky, what ambiguity is there in the function of a woman’s body? I distinctly remember being taught that humans came to be through a process known as evolution, and that a key component in that process is sexual reproduction. Whether or not a woman chooses to reproduce, she is born with all the physical attributes to do so. How then is there any ambiguity in the function of the female form? And, more importantly, how does this disgusting and offensive “art piece” explore anything aside from narcissistic attention-grabbing?

  • Jennifer

    I am not shocked or appalled that something like this could happen at Yale. Nor am I surprised by the generally consistent response of the students and alumni: disgusting, disturbing, embarrassing and requiring psychological and/or medical attention. I realize most graduates of Yale didn't ever conceive of anything this depraved for their degree work. However, the universities in America, including our finest such as Yale, immerse their students in the doctrines of secular humanism in which there is no accountability to God. No, I'm not surprised there is no God at Yale.

    Whether you like it or not Yale, "the Shvarts" is with you!

  • Y faculty member

    In my opinion, any one who approved this so-called "art project" should be fired from the university, immediately.

  • Anonymous

    I do hope that public and federal funding will cease and desist to this, so-called, "Ivy League" institution.

  • ex-cornellian

    I don't think the project is worth a passing grade, as art it was predictable and unoriginal. If she wanted to really explore the body and how its misunderstood there are much more creative ways to express it.

  • Yalie '03

    There have been many things that have made me reticent to state that I went to Yale over the years--the outrageous tuition costs, the blatant financial aid preferential treatment of athletes, professors that simply read from their own books and call it a "lecture". But I took all these with a grain of salt, telling myself that the education I received from Yale more than made up for its shortcomings in a few minor areas, and I always stated proudly where I obtained my undergraduate education. However, Shvarts' behavior has made it painfully clear that there is something severly amiss in both the education that is now being doled out at the University, and in the administration that allows such a project to take place. Don't place blame solely on the shoulders of Shvarts, although she well deserves it. All senior projects are monitored and advised. Where are those monitors and advisers now? "No comment"? Frightening and nauseating.

    This project makes a mockery of everything I worked for at the University, and of my current affiliation now. I will not be telling anyone any time soon the name of my alma mater. This has finally tipped my scale of shame and disgust for the institution. I can only hope that Yale will treat this demented woman in the same harsh way it treats those who do nothing more than fall behind on their tuition payments or get one too many Fs in their transcript, and expel her unceremoniously. It would be the only ameliorating solution to this truly heinous debacle.

  • Anonymous Lucy

    What would Rory Gilmore think?!

  • The Dude

    If I go to Yale, can I make porn and call it art too?

  • Anon

    I'm a recent Yale grad and while I was there I spent some time in the art department before I switched majors. The Yale art dept. is, for the most part, an unsupervised, pseudo-intellectual clusterf*ck of highly intelligent twenty-somethings. And that's the danger. Rather than give students a strong studio art/art history/art theory foundation that's based in technique and intelligent dialogue, the department lets its students act freely and irresponsibly. The presumption that Yale students are smart and capable is twisted into the presumption that Yale students are so smart and capable they don't need training and guidance. Couple this with the "art is about freedom, let's do what we want" mentality and you're playing with fire.
    Shvarts is not an artist. She's a highly intelligent but misguided girl. She's been let down by the department and by the university and we should all feel sorry for her because after fours years of art "education" this is what she has to show us.
    If anything, she's alerted the world to Yale's shortcomings and reminded us that real art, true art, art that speaks and says something, is born out of responsibility, thought, training, and serious dialogue.

  • Weak "Art"

    What a load of B.S - this was clearly done with the intention of shock value and nothing more. Any artistic 'meaning' that they try to attach to this is secondary and just complete B.S. This is nothing more than an attempt to shock.

    It is completely insulting that anyone could consider this "art" -- by that definition, literally anything could be considered 'art'. I think it is pretty weak, intellectually. I am shocked she managed to get into Yale.

  • respondent

    When I first came upon a blog post regarding Shvart's project, I was shocked and horrified that someone could go to such levels for the sake of her art. However, when I read that it was in fact, a "hoax" of sorts, I felt I must applaud this young artist, who's work will in fact go down in history..regardless of whether or not she was actually pregnant. Just as Warhol's films pushed the boundaries of the 70's has this woman pushed our own. However, I am certain that she is most likely unstable, as are many artists of years passed.

  • Anonymous

    Let the female artists vote. I'm one, and this is not art.

    Don't give this project credit. It's not hard to menstruate in a cup. It's not hard to MOCK the pain of an abortion or a miscarriage. This isn't opening a dialogue, this is simply pulling down your pants instead of doing actual work.

    This is telling millions of women across the country that a miscarriage or an abortion is a joke.

    If I give Yale the documentation of the miscarriage I suffered, can I can get a degree?

    There is nothing ambigous about this. It is not art. It's an insult. It doesn't deserve credit.

  • the ghost of Marcel DuChamp

    This is the greatest thing since Steve Jones said "fuuck" British national television in '77!

  • It's all about…

    Attention. This is all for attention. And you are all giving it to her. Medically, you know the odds this "show" she is putting on being real are slim to none. Academically, the fact that she is putting more effort into timing and press releases shows this is not "art", it's a sad attempt at marketing. Real academics, real artists, real people "create". What she is attempting to do (and quite lazily) is shock and cheat the system. I believe she will soon discover that she is at 14:30 of her very short (and shallow) 15 minutes and this isn't going to be the claim to fame she hoped to garner.

  • a_mother

    As a woman who has suffered miscarriage, I'm grateful for a project such as this that appears to explore the inarticulable terrain of reproductive narratives. Thus far, Shvarts hasn't trivialized my experience, but drawn attention to the fact that most conversations in this country about abortion, miscarriage, and childbearing do.

    I'm curious to see the whole project, of course, but thus far I'm fascinated and honored that someone's taking the time to travel this complex, difficult terrain. And note, we're all part of this art project, now.

  • Kate

    The boundaries of the physical, social, and political "self" have never seemed so indefinite as when thinking about the risks taken in this project and the reactions to it.

    Brava. I am amazed.

  • ophelia

    There are so many aspects to this story and article, that people are forgetting to think and breathe for a moment to digest what is happening.
    There are always going to be people offended by something someone else is doing, ALWAYS. If we all thought in similar ways we couldnt have contraversy, and these discussions that allow us to speak our minds.
    I am torn on this subject, coming from someone who is currently 29 weeks pregnant, I cant imagine losing the life that I have helped create. To think that someone would attempt to impregnate themselves for art, and not "miscarry" but abort is a hard thing to digest. I am completely pro-choice. Its just hard to understand why there was a need to continuously abort (if there was) any fetus. The emotional and most importantly the physical strain put on a womans body, I cant imagine.
    For the students who attend Yale, I dont think you should be ashamed of your school, because in no way shape or form does ONE student represent an entire faculty and student body.
    I do have to question if this is indeed art, just because its not of flowers, or distorted shapes and colours, does that make any less of an art piece. Art is supposed to make people cringe, question, inquire into the artists mind, and provoke some sort of emotion whether negative or positive. So isn't this doing that?
    I can understand how this could cause women and couples who have suffered miscarriage or are trying to have a baby feel hurt and disrespected. However, one has to question how much impact this art has on ones life. She wasnt doing it to say "ah ha" to those people, and doing it as a personal vendetta to each individual person.
    I do think maybe there needs to be some psychological evaluation. But people need to calm down, and evaluate the facts before spewing such comments as "she's a serial killer" and "she's off her rocker". Until there is sufficient proof that she is indeed not mentally stable, you aren't a psychotherapist so leave the diagnosing to the professionals, and know your OPINION is just that, an OPINION.
    The whole point of this performance piece was to get people to talk, and isnt she successful in what she planned to do?

  • Nope

    How dare she do something controversial and thought provoking!! What does she think she is, some kind of… artist?!?

    Seriously though, people who get outraged about abortion should go to a third world country and start helping actual people who are actually suffering. Or, if you want there to be less abortions then start volunteering at youth counseling centers and giving out condoms. Getting angry for uninformed, anti-rational and unscientific religious reasons is… well, to put it gently "super dumb."

  • a_mother

    As a mother and someone who's suffered miscarriage, I'm grateful to see a project that seems to attempt to navigate the inarticulable terrain of reproductive narratives and surrounding political claims. Shvarts's project thus far hasn't trivialized my experience, but drawn attention to the ways in which public discussion of miscarriage, abortion, and childbearing does.

    I'm curious to see the whole project of course, but thus far thank Shvarts for creating a field in which such a hyperbolic discussion can expose the latent misogyny and bad faith that abound.

    And note, we're all part of the art project, now.

  • Marie R.

    Alright, now that I have ad 24 hours to cool off from first reading about this. True or not, this "art" project is a serious health code violation. I believe that the students of Yale should call the health department if the university allows it to go up.
    I am deeply disturbed by this, haivng had a miscarriage, and although I am angry that she is turning a devestating loss into a mockary. I think she should not be allowed to walk in graduation, and that her senior project should be failed so she can come up with something that is actually creative.

  • maineredneck

    It is not art, but it demonstrates the freedoms of democracy is supposed to have. THE FREEDOM OF OUR OWN BODY. Whether someone wants to get a tattoo, be obese, or POTENTIALLY get themselves pregnant and POTENTIALLY lose the few cells that are no way yet a child, it is their right.
    Besides, would you rather her have gotten pregnant and try to RAISE a child with her mentality?

  • Schlock Art

    #93 wrote: "Attention. This is all for attention. And you are all giving it to her. Medically, you know the odds this 'show' she is putting on being real are slim to none."

    Agreed, but it's also for a degree.

    Yale, have the last laugh: Deny her one.

  • Suz

    This woman is clearly mentally unbalanced. Yale should not allow her to exhibit her 'work'. And if this is the 'art' she creates, she's clearly not much of an artist.

  • UTexas08

    As a pro-choice supporter and college-educated, law school-bound student, I just have a few things to say. I agree with those that state that this is in no way art or even close to being representative of art. I say this because I do not believe it drives intelligent discourse on the female body and its uses. Justify it as you will, this does not make me, a woman, feel any different about my body. Its uses have not changed in my mind just because of some puerile debate over this piece having to do with conception and abortion. As it seems so far, it hasn't had the impact she was supposedly striving for at all. It's merely caused outrage in others. Besides, what's next? A man putting semen all over tarp? He could just as easily justify that since that biological substance could have at some point produced viable offspring as well. As others have stated, it is simply a shock piece.

    Regardless of possible pregnancy or not, putting one's own blood onto a cube covered with plastic sheeting is not exactly a "revolutionary" idea. It's simply disgusting and that's likely one reason no one had yet attempted it. In addition, the possible health hazard of that makes me shudder as a former biology major. I honestly don't see the point of watching someone menstruating into a cup. Half of the population experiences that monthly or fairly regularly, and the other half already knows what the process is about or could probably guess.

    If there was indeed at least one time where she conceived, I find it abhorrent that she would get pregnant just to abort. There are many reasons a woman might get an abortion (i.e. for reasons of health, sexual assault, etc.), but that reason is not acceptable or justifiable in my mind. An evaluation from a mental health professional would be needed.

    I do not blame Yale or their "lowered" standards for this debacle. As the Yale students/alums have said, she is only one of many who has had to lower herself to this kind of situation to gain some undeserved fame. I'm not even outraged by this as much as I am annoyed by the fact that this even became news. Her expulsion or mental health assistance from Yale should have been quick and silent so that she would have had nothing to gain. In the end, however, I think she will realize that this will be quickly forgotten as another pathetic attempt at trying to become famous.

  • OneOfUs

    The project has achieved its stated objective. I don't understand this tempest in a teapot. Is there some kind of selective amnesia or delusion or romanticism that causes us to place a near infinite value on some forms of human life but nearly zero on others?

    I mean, a bunch of innocents blown to bits in Falujah merits a "So what else is new?" while menstrual blood from a dubious impregnation/abortion art project causes a visceral "WTF?!?!".

    Surely the mainstream conceptual model of life is broken.

  • Prince Edward Island Girl

    I had a miscarrage and belive me it wasnt nice…but honestly if the girl was never pregnant in the first place it was a peice of "Art" (if thats what she calls it) But she still must have some issues because she could have seriously harmed herself. She needs some help.

  • vikingmom

    Destroying one's own species - is what her demonstration represents.

    And I am so sorry for the girls and women who buy into the self-mutilation lie known as "choice".

    Seems the "choice" means women should be making the blood sacrifice of at least one of their unborn children on the new high tech Moloch altar (i.e. the local abortion clinic).

    The technology is fancier, but child sacrifice is old as the hills.

    And how about "art" to "salute" the silly college male who sleeps around and creates an unknown number of children???

  • Sarah

    Can she prove she was ever even pregnant? A dear friend has been trying the old-fashioned way for months now, and yet Ms. Shvarts managed to do it multiple times over a nine month period using a syringe… sounds unlikely. I don't go to Yale, don't know anyone who does, and never even entertained the thought of applying - unfortunately, the "ick factor" alone of this incident makes me grateful for it.

  • midnitewhite

    YALE what's happening in your art dept? I thought art was not of this, creating havoc on the aborting story what kind of students will we have from your university… taking care of this country …looks like you should scan the sicko's out of this school, this FREAK is in art, hum… I don't know but if this was my daughter ,I absolutely would be a shamed, oh but this thing it's not mine,my daughter is of moral standards and above a 4. average, I wouldn't have reared a daughter of this nature. Have her checked out, she sounds like this thing may really need help from a shrink …. HELLO.. and this is a Yale student!!!

  • Kevin

    Within a Darwinian/pro-choice framework I cannot see the problem with her project. There is no objective standard for truth and it wasn't a baby anyway. Isn't a world devoid of God wonderful!!

  • Bailey

    Let me ask you all this…how many of you have made a mistake? how many teens do you think have had premarital sex in america? how many of you have had premarital sex, or went to a party got a little drunk and decided to hook up with some random person…have any of you heard of plan b which causes a miscarriage? how many of oyu have ever taken it? HELLO!!! wake up and take a look around this country! there are so many strange things happening these days and this is what you focus on? I do believe what she was doing is art, as well as thinking she may be mentally or physicall ill, but all these anti abortion people…who are they kidding? what if you were a woman and you were raped…what would you do? as someone who has gone through being raped, i am pro choice, i think to an extent a woman should be able to choose, if she is being a hooker or something and sleeping with every man on the block then yes, but there could be ways you could track something like that, if someone comes in for an abortion and already has had upteen of them already then yeah i think discretion should be used, but what about those people who end up getting pregnant, and are very ill? should they have to bear the child if their life is at risk?

    I am very skeptical about this project im both intrigued yet disgusted, but I think some people should really think about their position on abortion, because sometimes their reasoning is really quite stupid…

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