Shvarts, Yale clash over project

Aliza Shvarts ’08 was never impregnated. She never miscarried. The sweeping outrage on blogs across the country was apparently for naught — at least according to the University.

As the news of her supposed senior art project chronicling a year of self-induced miscarriages was greeted with widespread shock on campus and elsewhere, the Davenport College senior traded barbs with Yale officials on Thursday over a project she described as an exhibit documenting a nine-month process during which she claimed to have artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically inducing miscarriages.

Aliza Shvarts ’08, pictured here in her studio in April, will present new work as part of a larger piece at the Tate Modern in London. Her controversial senior project, in which she claimed she self-induced miscarriages after inseminating herself, ignited an uproar on campus and across the country this spring.
Aliza Shvarts ’08, pictured here in her studio in April, will present new work as part of a larger piece at the Tate Modern in London. Her controversial senior project, in which she claimed she self-induced miscarriages after inseminating herself, ignited an uproar on campus and across the country this spring.

But while Shvarts stood by her project and claimed that administrators had backed her before the planned exhibition attracted national condemnation, the University dismissed it as nothing more than a piece of fiction.

“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 Thursday afternoon.

Klasky said Shvarts told Yale College Dean Peter Salovey and two other senior officials Thursday that she neither impregnated herself nor induced any miscarriages. Rather, the entire episode, including a press release describing the exhibition released Wednesday, was nothing more than “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 in an interview later Thursday afternoon, Shvarts defended her work and called the University’s statement “ultimately inaccurate.” She reiterated that she engaged in the nine-month process she publicized on Wednesday in a press release that was first reported in the News: repeatedly using a needleless syringe to insert semen into herself, then taking abortifacient herbs at the end of her menstrual cycle to induce bleeding. Thursday evening, in a tour of her art studio, she shared with the News video footage she claimed depicted her attempts at self-induced miscarriages.

“No one can say with 100-percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen,” Shvarts said, adding that she does not know whether she was ever pregnant. “The nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties.”

Told of Shvarts’ comments, the University fired back. In a statement issued just before midnight on Thursday, Klasky told the News that Shvarts had vowed that if the University revealed her admission, “she would deny it.”

“Her denial is part of her performance,” Klasky wrote in an e-mail message. “We are disappointed that she would deliberately lie to the press in the name of art.”

Yale’s response to the supposed exhibition came at the end of a day of widespread shock. The blogosphere erupted in stunned indignation over Shvarts’ detailed description in Thursday’s News of her supposed exhibition, which she said would include the display of blood she preserved from her nine-month endeavor.

As more news outlets posted their stories online early Friday morning, Shvarts responded to the University’s second statement, asserting that her project was, in her words, “University-sanctioned.”

“I’m not going to absolve them by saying it was some sort of hoax when it wasn’t,” she said. “I started out with the University on board with what I was doing, and because of the media frenzy they’ve been trying to dissociate with me. Ultimately I want to get back to a point where they renew their support because ultimately this was something they supported.”

It was a media frenzy that Shvarts triggered herself. The article in Thursday’s News was prompted by a press release Shvarts circulated on Wednesday in which she discussed — in graphic detail — what she called a cycle of self-insemination followed by “repeated self-induced miscarriages.”

The Drudge Report linked to the News’s story early Thursday, overloading the newspaper’s Web site with traffic and attracting the attention of news outlets across the country. The article generated more press inquiries from the University than any matter since the controversy surrounding Yale’s admission of former Taliban diplomat Rahmatullah Hashemi flared up in 2006, according to a Yale official.

In an interview for the article in Thursday’s News, Shvarts explained that 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 Holcombe T. Green Jr. 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 while some news stories late Thursday dismissed Shvarts’s exhibition as a wholesale hoax, the Davenport senior showed elements of her planned exhibition to News reporters, including 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. It was all part of a project that Shvarts said had the backing of the dean of her residential college and at least two faculty members within the School of Art.

Davenport College Dean Craig Harwood — whom Shvarts said supported the project — and Shvarts’s thesis adviser, School of Art lecturer Pia Lindman, could not be reached for comment Thursday. The director of undergraduate studies in the School of Art, Henk van Assen, referred a request for comment to Yale’s Office of Public Affairs.


  • Anonymous

    So in an entirely unsurprising turn of events, the University has lied, betrayed one of its students in return for better press, and failed to defend free speech.

    Aliza Shvartz, on the other hand, had the moral courage to tell the truth from the beginning, stick to her story when the going got bad, and know the difference between fiction, art, and honesty thoughout.

  • An Idle Observer

    Ms. Schvarts, you are a very disturbed individual. I pity you.

  • S. Rusino

    In the name of Humanity how can you allow such a 'scandal' be displayed.

    Have we sunk so low?

    Now I will go and vomit.

  • Anonymous

    I really fail to see how this is any different from women who work in the sex industry and abort up to 10 times a year - something common in parts of eastern Europe. Where is the outrage over that?

    The university should have had the foresight to understand the PR crisis that would ensue and should have never given their name to this endeavor.

    People with so-called "ethics" and "morals" seem to be offended by this. This is nothing but religious hypocrisy. Where is the outrage over the million dead(walking, I should add) in Iraq? The dozens of thousands dead in Afghanistan?

    If I recollect right, the university didn't even publish an article commemorating the 4,000th dead in Iraq. I have not read an article condemning the use of depleted Uranium in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. I have not read an article criticizing the use of Mark-77(Napalm 2.0) or white Phosphorus in Iraq. Depleted Uranium will lead to thousands(conservative #) of children born with incredible diseases. We went to Iraq to find WMDs, failed to find any and used some in the process.

    The whole of Mesopotamia will become a radioactive hellhole for the next 10,000 years and you people are concerned about a privileged white girl bleeding into a cup. This nation is either insane or full or hypocrites who can't see the big picture.

  • Bob S

    This entire event serves to remind us of what post-modern "art" actually has become… an anti-social behavior that has become intolerable, insenstive, and inhumane. Of course the University is concerned… it should be… there are many of us educated people, and alumni, who believe funding should be cut until the institutions return to education and abandon their intentions to destroy the very fabric of the society in which they thrive. The art faculty and deans should be held accountable for their encouragement of such projects, just like they would be if they held a real professional position in society. The reason they are at Yale is that they could not survive elsewhere.

  • skippy

    So Yale doesn't approve of students using biohazard for art? Shocking!

  • anon

    This is a wonderful evocative piece of art. I can't wait to see the exhibit. I love the concept and the commentary it forces! Well done Aliza Shvartz!! The response it has prompted among university administrators (shame she lied, etc--tho cudos to her college dean if he signed off on this), and the frenzy among bloggers and talking-heads, stands as both indictment and exposure of political power and knowledge production in our land right now.

  • Anonymous

    I understand that artists will sometimes strive to push the limit of what people will accept, but there has to be a limit to what should be considered acceptable and responsible in this pursuit. This certainly crosses the line. The fact that she doesn't know whether she was pregnant or not doesn't absolve her from responsibility for what she did.

    That being said, I find it very difficult to believe that Yale officials would support a project as stated by Shvartz. Projects like this ultimately cost the university in alumni dollars and bad press. However, I could see how they would support the project if it was a hoax.

    I guess one of the three things is going on right now; she is lying to the press, she lied to university officials, or university officials are lying about their original support. Which is more likely?

    The smartest thing for the university to do is to distance themselves from this by either not letting her present her project or just fail her. To let her go through with it and graduate her would only give the substance of support even if they are saying something else.

  • Barry

    How original, Shock Art. Maybe her next project could include religious artwork smeared with feces, or maybe hang clothing with blood infected with a deadly disease over an audience, or maybe post videos on the internet of decapitations. Oh, that's already been done.

    Nice job Yale of advancing the Art of Shock. Can’t wait to see what other projects you approve. High-er education indead.

  • Jessica S.

    Yeah, she had the moral awareness to impregnate herself time and time again and use "herbs" to induce miscarriage. HOW COURAGEOUS!
    I know that you are all living in a cesspool with no grip on reality, but know that, as an artist, this project was not art. It's a tacky and mortally narcissistic ploy for attention. If the artistic meaning of her project was to make herself and her entire school look like desperate idiots, then mission accomplished.
    What this girl has done is a slap in the face to those who believe in the right to abortion. Instead of drawing attention in an intelligent way to the issue, her INSANITY has fueled the right-wing, pro-life fire. This girl needs to be institutionalized.
    And know that Yale's reputation is going to be shaved down from this. Both due to her behavior, and the school's subsequently lying about it.

  • Rebecca

    If Yale University supports this despicable (morally reprehensible) behavior by allowing this student to present this atrocity as "art" it will surely "reap what it sows".

    Get rid of this "psychotic attention seeker"!

  • Dave C

    Shvartz is a pig, a disgusting example of everything wrong with so-called "modern art." Miscarriages are terribly traumatic, representing a missed opportunity at life and love, and this person trivialized it. She's a maggot.

  • Sylvia

    Oh, please. Schvartz's disingenuousness (some might say "lying") about instigating a media frenzy exposes her as just another self-important and possibly self-destructive Yale senior. It's too bad that the likes of Drudge reward such transparent attention-seeking; it's like giving a wailing toddler a cookie.

  • Anonymous

    Real or not, this girl got the point. What is art? what is not? HOW are we to judge?
    This is certainly not art, most would say. yet still, if this is a fake; WHAT are we judging? Then, WHEN is it appropriated to call something art? and what is that something is not real?

  • Marlowe

    This woman is Evil.

    She has soiled her family name and whatever was left of the reputation of Yale University.

  • David Focil

    I guess this is what one of the best educations on Earth gets you these days, a girl who is so confused its not even funny. What exactly is she conveying here, what grand expression of an ideological conviction is this so called "art" portraying?

    There are many artists out there who use very powerful and disturbing images to effect, and convey something deep and timeless about the human condition. The only thing this shows is how utterly shallow and ridiculous people can be, and not by the exhibit itself, but by the example of the person who produced it.

  • Samantha

    The fact this student even thought of such a grotesque thing and presented it is disturbing to me. Yale, Harvard and the like, you can have those schools. They are full of fanatical liberals who have no concept of right, wrong and decency.

  • Anonymous

    1. It would come as no surprise if, as poster #1 suggests, Yale is lying here.

    2. If this entire affair is in fact fiction, as I am inclined to believe it is, then that is some serious brilliance.

  • Ray

    If her pergency and abortion was real she has a right to voice her opion in any way she want.

  • consistency demanded

    Chase O, Free Speech is not shouting "fire" in a full theater which is what Shvarts did. I want to know what consequences the university will impose for 1) Shvartz lies and 2) YDNs failure to verify her story.

    Will the university also require Shvartz and her accomplices to attend sensitivity training by meeting with women who have endured miscarriage and with women who have undergone and grieved abortion.

    Where will the university sponsored counseling sessions be held for the scores of people offended by her outrageous story?

  • anonymous

    I ask all of you who are pro choice to have the courage to do some research and take a look at the photographs of fetuses aborted in both the first and second trimester of pregnancy. . You should be willing to educate yourself about the actual facts. These are easy to find. Just google for gallery of images. Priests for Life also posted a whole series of these images.

  • Martin L

    Great trend in Yale admissions: admit disturbed "performance artists" at the exclusion of accomplished scientists and writers.

  • Timmeh


  • disgusted

    Shvartz is th lowowest of the low disgusting pig and what goes around comes around and you will get yours for this horrible disgrace and mockery of both abortion and miscarriges. Art--- you deserve to get an F and be kicked out of this institution--- you need to be institutionalized for mental ilness.

  • Anon

    Expel this girl already.

    She's mentally unbalanced and obviously needs to be checked into the nearest psych ward.

    Disgusting pig, Shvartz isn't even HUMAN.

  • Kevin R. Kosar

    So, the project was about "inspiring some sort of discourse" (Schvarts) on the "ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body" (Yale)? Is this what passes for intellectual activity at Yale these days? Perhaps Yale should require all its art students to complete a year-long, rigorous course in the history of philosophy and ideas before producing any work of art. Maybe such a measure would reduce the probability of these young artists producing art projects that seem so half-baked, ill-read, and silly.

  • Anonymous

    Only in the most arrogant, elitist environment of academia would we see this occur- so this makes sense. And this isn't really a pro-life vs. pro-choice issue, as many of you have already articulated. While I am now pro-life, formerly pro-choice, I still respect much of the rationale behind the pro-choice argument. Although I may not agree with it, I still respect it because it is a difficult issue. However, there is still the ultra-liberal, radical pro-abortion crowd whom I despise, into which Miss Schvart most likely fits comfortably. These are the people with true evil and hypocrisy in their hearts. It's this mentality that allows people to abhor the "injustice" of Guantanamo (inprisoning those who would gladly destroy us), but find slaughtering unborn children (on demand) a perfectly suitable endeavour, as long it advances the convenience of the mother and/or father. Even if this was a hoax, it trivializes a painful and tragic issue.

    And for all of you college students out there, including our best and brightest of the Ivy League- just wait. As someone who is blessed w/ 2 degrees, a six-figure job, a wife and 2 beautiful sons, REAL LIFE IS NOT FOUND ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS. (And god did I love college!) Your REAL EDUCATION begins after you graduate- believe me. Many of your opinions will change folks.

  • Anonymous

    I honestly can't believe you're defending this travesty, Chase.

    Ms. Shvarts should be placed on a leave of absence and forced to repeat her senior year. Hopefully she could use the time to seek counseling.

  • Anonymous

    I'm very pro-choice, but I think the YDN needs to stop calling Shvarts' actions "miscarriages." The term miscarriage implies an accidental, natural event, as well as an intent to carry the pregnancy to term. It's clear that Shvarts' actions do not fit either of these criteria.

    Oh, and please stop calling this a free-speech issue. It's an issue of a student's psychiatric and physical well-being.

  • Rosa

    A few years ago I suffered a miscarriage & I am presently dealing with infertility. I'm apalled by what Ms.Shvartz has done. If she did indeed self-induce numerous miscarriages, then she has wreaked havoc on her reproductive organs. A miscarriage is a physical & emotional tragedy that women experience daily, and it takes a long time to heal. Ms.Shvartz's actions are A punch in the face for these women.
    If what she did is fictional, then the effects are the same & she has trivialized the argument for a woman's right to choose.
    She is not an artist -- she is a brat who obviously wants attention.

  • Alumn from that Other School

    Kindly explain how Ms. Schvarts's assertions and denials mesh with Yale's Undergraduate Regulations?

    Under "General Conduct and Discipline" see "B. Falsification of documents"

    "Forging, altering, misrepresenting, or otherwise falsifying any transcript, academic record, identification card, or other document or communication."

  • Anonymous

    So proud to be a Yale alum; this is why I will never give a dollar back to my alma mater. The Taliban last year, now this. When Yale makes the national news, it embarrasses me. I can just imagine the 'debate' this is causing on campus. Students who take serious offense to this will be labeled by so many of the liberals on campus as close-minded and ultra conservative.

  • Joe Ratzinger

    Shvarts has blackened herself and humanity. It's a sad day in the history of humanity. Excuse me while I go and hang myself.

  • RLC

    While I pity this poor misguided person, a much larger shame here belongs to Yale. In their fervent attempt to make this whole thing "disappear", they take it upon themselves to state that this is performance art, and, had it been real, would have raised concerns about the student's physical and mental health. Guess what, Yale? What you have here is the DEFINITION of someone with a mental illness, regardless of what is true or false. Of course I'm inclined to believe this is a hoax, as any thinking woman who even flirted with this idea would be so traumatized by an actual miscarriage that it would rock her whole vantage point. I attended a small performing arts school and I was surrounded by many just like Ms. Shvarts. One in particular that was on a constant quest to be "artistic" and "ironic". No one ever paid any attention and that only fed her twisted desires. I'm certain we are seeing the same thing here. Yale, do the right thing and insist that this girl gets the help she so desperately needs. Stop disguising mental illness as "artistic expression"

  • Kayla C

    how could someone do something like this to not 1 not 2 but 9 babies tht is just sick and wrong i dont care if it would win u a million dollars i just kno this chick has probably lost so much respect from others and deff. from me…this is NOT ART…THIS IS MURDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alan R

    "This entire event serves to remind us of what post-modern "art" actually has become…"

    Bob is exactly right. Much of what passes for art now is nothing more than a megaphone for whiny narcissists so that they may use shock value to draw attention to themselves and their bizarre views. It is not about art anymore, rather all about the artists themselves. Did Ms. Shvarts spit in the face of the women who have struggled through the REAL trials of miscarriage and abortion? Absolutely. She did not responsibly initiate a dialog. This fiasco will draw attention to the utter uselessness of shock art - not abortion or women's health. Only a delusional misfit would fail to see that coming before her "press release."

  • To

    Where to start? 1- A million dead in Iraq is completely false. Where do you get that number- that is a conspiracy theory at best, a lie at worst. One of the great tragedies of war is that civilians are ALWAYS the victims, despite our best efforts to minimize collateral damage.
    2- 4000 U.S. military dead is tragic, but we are an all-volunteer force. A soldier goes where he/she is told to go and fights whom he/she is told to fight. It's called duty and unfortunately death is always a possibility. Do you really equate the death of a soldier, who has volunteered to go in harm's way, with abortion??? The unborn child hasn't volunteered for their own demise. All life is precious, but you're dealing w/ apples and oranges sir.
    3- The overwhelming majority of "deaths" in Afghanistan are due to ENEMY KIAs- Taliban and Al Qaida. While this may be distasteful to you, it is in fact our mission and a great success and tribute to our military's skill and resolve.

    With respect, it is certainly o.k. to hate the war, but to be disingenuous about its statistics does a disservice to those who serve YOU, and do so selflessly.

  • find some perspective

    If Ms. Shvarts is able to conduct a miscarriage without being traumatized, well it means she wasn't traumatized by it -- however much you say she should be. have YOU ever had a miscarriage, Dave? So stop talking about what all women should think about a miscarriage.

    I find this project very worthy, and fully support Ms. Shvarts.

  • calirangr

    What an empty life this person must live. To think that anyone has an interest in that type of activity, let alone want to share it with the world is a profound statement on the concept of 'too much free time'. I'd say, "Get a life"…but my sensing is that it's far far too late for this young lady.

  • Skowronek

    Foreshadowing the future this is. The cost of unbridled "freedom of speech".

  • C W

    When you have children later in life, I pity you on the day you have to try to explain your decision to self impregnate and then abort. I find it hard to believe that you are as untouched by what you did to yourself as you appear. I do feel a great sympathy for you.

  • Anonymous

    Right. So now the university, including Dean Salovey, is lying. Get real.

    This twit is so over. Surely there is an empty space under a rock somewhere to which she can return.

  • To

    Also with respect, there is absolutely no scientific, epidemiological evidence that depleted uranium shells are a carcinogen or produce radiation in harmful amounts. This is a myth. The peoples of "Mesopotamia" have many things to worry about; DU shells are not among them. However, DU is great at penetrating armor and eviscerating terrorists, those who seek to subjugate and kill Iraqi citizens, you, me and destroy our way of life.

  • y08

    "Aliza Shvartz…knows the difference between fiction, art, and honesty thoughout"

    Chase, you're kidding, right? This girl is deeply disturbed regardless of whether this was a hoax, and there is no way that she has any reasonable sense of the difference between fiction, art, and general common sense.

  • Tom Anderson

    Only in academia could someone connect this outrage with the "outrage in Iraq" and then label "religious hypocrisy". Yeah, you're right Jose, anyone that speaks out about this must be a crazed Christian, right? Jose, how did you manage to forget the biggest crutch of your kind, the "It's all Bush's fault" line?

  • Janene

    Wow I am shocked that this is even considered art. At my university this would have never been approved by the professor. I am not against abortions, but I am when they are done repeatedly on purpose to prove a point. Millions of women have miscarriages everyday. This is like a smack in the face to them. How do you think this would make them feel. As for Shvartz how is hurting yourself proving anything but stupidity. There are people who are cutters, and people who starve themselves; that is self harm. What Shvartz is doing is no different and in many cases those people are institutionalized. Shvartz needs help. This is not art. It's just a way to get attention and who knows if she actually really did it maybe she made it all up to start conflict. There is no way she didn't need medical help and there is no way in 9 months she was able to have multiple miscarriages. Its not all that easy.

  • KSoze

    This woman, and I hesitate to call her that, is really quite stupid. There are alot of Pro-Life crazies out there. You know, the ones who blow up abortion clinics? She would be lucky if one doesn't decide to just track her down and do her injury. Hoax or no she put herself in danger.

  • Anonymous

    "If I recollect right, the university didn't even publish an article commemorating the 4,000th dead in Iraq."

    José Abreu, first off I've looked over your website and you're a conspiracy theorist. So I realize you may not accept what I'm going to say.

    Nonetheless, your confusion regarding the uproar this alleged 'performance art' has caused is perplexing. Similarly, I can't understand what possible reason you believe Yale would have had for issuing a press release regarding events in Iraq. To say that its out of their jurisdiction is putting it mildly.

    The real question here is (to borrow a phrase) what the University faculty knew, and when they knew it. Did they approve this senior project, as the student continues to claim? And if so does this mean that other student's may submit a video of themselves "bleeding into a cup" for credit from the art department?

    If that's the case then Yale's reputation is clearly not an accurate reflection of its current standards.

  • EFS

    I am relieved that my daughter, who was recruited by Yale, decided to attend another institution. That an institution could produce two individuals like jose abrue and Shvartz is hardly a testament to its credentials.

  • RH Reality Check

    Yale Performance Art: Where Are the Grown-Ups?

    By Carole Joffe, Apr 18 2008 - 8:58am
    Published on

    Yesterday the Yale Daily News published a story 1 about the senior project of an art major, Aliza Shvarts, which consists, as the article put it, of "a documentation of a nine month process during which she inseminated herself as often as possible while periodically taking abortifacient 2 drugs to induce miscarriages." In short, Ms. Shvarts claimed to use donated sperm to achieve repeated pregnancies, and used then an unspecified drug for repeated abortions. Predictably, this story has spread like wildfire both on the Internet as well as the mainstream press.
    Later on Thursday, Yale University issued a statement 3 announcing that Shvarts' project did not involve actual pregnancy or induced miscarriage. But even before their statement, I was skeptical. Most puzzling to me was her claim to have used "abortifacient drugs that were legal and herbal." If she had really terminated her own pregnancies repeatedly, she could have been subject to legal prosecution -- as occurred recently to a number of poor, mainly immigrant women who have tried to terminate their unwanted pregnancies by themselves, in situations vastly more grave than Schvarts' "senior project."
    Even though Schvarts did not actually become pregnant and self-abort, this is a disturbing and irresponsible project. Shvarts told the Yale Daily News that her project was not designed for "shock value" and it was not her intention to "scandalize anyone." She also told the paper that she "believes strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity."
    It is very hard to take such statements seriously. If she truly believed that claiming to get herself pregnant "repeatedly," only to then terminate those pregnancies, would not shock and scandalize, then she clearly has not a clue about reproductive politics, and should not be sticking her nose, er, her uterus, into a highly charged issue she knows nothing about. Art should be a medium for politics, but the responsibility of the artist is to know something about the politics with which she is engaging.
    What useful "conversation" has Shvarts provoked with this project -- other than the fact that not all ideas for performance art are good ones? Does anyone -- on either side of the abortion debate -- gain any new insight from her work? All that seems to be accomplished with this project is a highly visible trivialization of the issue of abortion and a phenomenal insensitivity to women who suffer repeat miscarriages.
    As someone who has been a college professor for over thirty years, I know it is not uncommon for eager students to have fanciful ideas projects, and some of these, for various reasons, simply should not take place. It is the job of faculty mentors to give appropriate guidance and to point out that not everything that is "provocative" is necessarily worth doing. The Yale art department, and her advisor in particular, has failed Aliza Shvarts big-time. And in ways that clearly Ms. Shvarts does not understand, her "artistic" contribution to politics fails the rest of us.

    Source URL:
    3 (

  • Anti-Shvartz

    Its a shame that your mother didn't take a abortifacient. Now that would have been art!

  • amanda

    This is seriously sick!!! Is she all there??? I sincerely hope this woman will not be able to have children in the future because of this stunt!

  • deek

    Don't worry, after college these womyns studies and "art" miscreants will be asking you if you want cream and sugar in your coffee whilst they "work for the man."


  • Anonymous

    Shvartz is clearly just another sick predator. Obviously fixated on human-gore and possessing the will purge the fixation is criminal in the purest form.

    To parade it as an 'art project' and speak of it so cavalierly is unscrupulous. Unless otherwise punished, or chastised she will even find it encouraging.

    The next time; she'll perform her 'art' against a child carving out a liver or some other horrific act, and then people will ask 'why'. Why was she not under surveillance? How could we let this happen?

    She should be permanently expelled, and watched for a very long time.

    - Concerned Student

  • mary

    It's hard to "shock" anyone anymore, isn't it?
    But this is truly revolting and evil.
    Christ in a jar of piss, and elephant feces on the Blessed Mother, was cute.
    Want to shock?
    Dare to speak out about about radical Islam.
    Oh, crickets! Suddenly, artists and writers and univeristy elitists are very quiet and not very brave at all ….

  • Anonymous


    Well said.

    Spoken with true fervor.

  • Whitney

    I just wish Superman would fly around the Earth backwards to reverse time so I could go back and NOT go to college.

  • Chris M. in Los Angeles

    If she is lying about this, isn't that academic dishonesty? Isn't it dishonest to represent your work untruthfully? Isn't that called "fabrication?"

    What would happen if I turned in a paper that represented false things as true, but then told my professor or dean that it was "performance art?"

    Does Yale now condone fabrication in some instances, but not in others? If not, what is the penalty at Yale for fabrication?

  • jnl77

    Yale has seen this formerly proud alum's last donation.

  • Anonymous

    I don't see why this should so negatively affect the institution. The fallout should land squarely on Schvartz and her faculty adviser. They seem to be the only ones who found this project acceptable.

  • Alumnus

    Aliza, do you have parents? Did you stop to think how horrible they would feel when all of this came out? Or did you think that, by being away from them, their feelings don't matter? You need to take some time off, go home, and apologize to your parents. They worked hard and paid good money to facilitate your act of ultimate selfishness. You need to repay them somehow.

  • leo


    "religious hypocrisy"? sure, for people who think the topic of abortion belongs to the area of religion instead of natural right.

    if i recall correctly, there is plenty of protest both against iraq and afghanistan going on (at least it seems this way over here in europe), so where is the problem?

    and what's the logic behind your comment anyways? "if you are not outraged at the things I want you to be outraged at, you have no right to be outraged, unless you want to be called a religious hypocrite"? Sad.

  • Anonymous


  • Rachel

    Again our prestigeous schools of higher education proving they love turning out "enlightened" elitist pseudointellectuals.
    Is there anything left to shock us?… or should I say is there any shock left in us?

  • Laura

    Shvartz is a psychotic woman who needs to get a grip on reality and understand the trauma a miscarriage causes a woman. What she has done is a mockery to women who have known the sadness of a lost life, she should be expelled and sent for a psychiatric examination. What a sad thought that people like her exist!

  • Unsurprisingly

    Chase O supports this artwork…shocking!

  • I can't see how anyone could support this, regardless of views on abortion or expression. This is vastly different from abortion of an unwanted pregnancy (which is not the issue here) or as one of the posters suggested of abortions by prostitues…how could you possibly expect to look away from this or condone it on the basis that there hasn't been a similar outcry over the dead in iraq or over other instances of abortion? this "art" project is still despicable…and the absence of similar reactions over these other issues is a problem in itself but in no way should anyone be able to use that as an excuse to say this is ok. you can level criticisms at hypocrisy but don't retract criticisms of this based on how we've failed in actions in other areas. she induced multiple pregnancies for the sole purpose of eventually aborting them. i fail to see how anyone can keep a straight face and even pretend to give an argument in favor of this project…it was difficult reading her comments about wanting to promote discourse. are you kidding?!

  • ezra

    Regarding Miss Shvarts: Pre-meditated murder - can someone research the books and find a way to begin an indictment for first-degree murder?

  • EMMA

    Schvarts' sperm donators - are you alright with what Schvarts has done with your seed? How will you feel in the years to come - if, say, you are, in the end, childless. What signifigance will your seed take on then? Will the child concieved in Schvarts - though forever without a face - haunt you - change you - grieve you?

  • anon

    If Shvartz is pro-life (and she wasn't pregnant) and if she thinks modern art is a joke, then this is a brilliant parody. If she is serious about the art or is pro-choice, then this is just absurd.

  • Rebecca Hupf

    Having suffered a non-intentional miscarriage myself, I am outraged at this person even being allowed to present this as art. The loss of a child, or in my case twins, is one of the most difficult things a woman can ever go through. Many reports display the emotional turmoil that women who decide to abort their children go through. A woman capable of putting herself through this multiple times I am almost willing to say is a sociopath. How can you possibly do that to yourself, and to those children, over and over and over again?

  • Keaton

    Let’s be clear. There are two issues here: the first is Shvarts’ act, the second is Yale’s support and response to the act.

    What Shvarts has done is repugnant, unethical and morally repugnant. Shavarts, you said, “no one can say with 100-percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen”. I respectfully disagree. I can say, with 100 percent certainty, that you undertook a series of actions that evidences serious degradation of your mental faculties and for which you should seek immediate medical attention. As well, that you would take herbs at the end of your menstrual cycle to induce bleeding shows either: a lack of basic biological knowledge; or, a possible dissociating cognitive state. The remedy here is more time in science classes, less in art classes; and again: seek immediate medical attention.

    On the second issue, it is clear that Yale is now backtracking in an effort to distance itself from the event. Let’s see how this plays out.

  • Jennifer

    This is nothing more than a mentally ill individual passing as "arty". She isn't clever, artistic, or full of expression. She is demented and has been able to pass until now as a contributing member of society. Her secret is now known to all: she is very sick and is in desperate need of help. Her sickness, though, does not exclude her need for consequences: the university has already said if this is real, she is in need of physical and mental help.

    To the members of Yale Administration: what do you plan to do now?

  • jc

    Hi Yale,

    I don't really care about this whole piece of fiction, of who deceived whom and why and when and with what object.

    But from an aesthetic and a practical point of view: if this is the calibre of artist that the purported Ivy League heavely paradise of education that is Yale is cranking out, you should burn down your school.

    Also, performance art? What is this, 1987?

  • Kathleen

    In Aliza Shvartz's own words - "the goal of her exhibition was to spark conversation and debate about the relationship between art and the human body."
    THIS is all she sould come up with???
    Yale isn't what it used to be!

    Her ideas are macabre and manifest some very deeply rooted psychological problems.

    Michealangleo's David shows "the relationship between art and the human body."

    Whether it is human menstrual blood or products of conception that has been saved to display for the world to see, it's all still a bioharzard - blood and body fluids, that should be handled and disposed of with caution.

    This escapade has given Aliza Shvartz her 5 minutes of fame.


  • Anonymous

    “We are disappointed that she would deliberately lie to the press in the name of art.”

    art is 103% lies
    academia is 104

  • lw

    I feel like I just got slapped in the face. I lost a baby due to miscarriage and have shed many tears over her. To have someone impregnate themselves and induce miscarriage to “create” art is the lowest of lows, what’s next…stillborns hung for art?

  • Anonymous

    Voluntary, repeated, filmed, preserved, exhibited internal body fluids containing intentionally created and destroyed human life. Well, maybe. Wow. What a concept!

    How atrociously narcissistic that the only certain thing is that the sperm was free of HIV. As for the embryos that might or might not have been, that's uncertain! A Life created then destroyed? Kewl! Thanx to my art you'll now be stimulated to discuss it!
    What is truly weird about this young woman is that she considers the possibility of intentionally creating and destroying a life less significant than "Stimulating a discussion about it"
    Initially I thought this was an age inappropriate equivalent of the child spreading feces on the wall.
    But the Spectacle aspect of it (it is, after all, to be displayed as the culmination of her artistic education), the obsessively deluded narcissism that treats even excreta as art, remind me of the monstrous sense of self that "Le Roi Soleil" (Louis X1V) had, whose bodily functions were court events. But the casual manipulation of life and death remind me of another nutjob- NERO.
    Thus we have Western secularism's apotheosis of the "liberated" individual: not "Everyman a King" as Huey P Long's populist slogan goes, but "Everyman a Nero"

  • ius civile

    The definition and expression of art is purely a subjective matter (though trash may sometime pose as art and this is a prime example), placing your health at risk for such disgusting and concerning bahavior is NOT! Any person of intelligence and sound judgement should have taken all necessary precautions including the counsel of members of the medical community. I strongly urge Ms. Shvarts to seek counseling and medical attention. Her adviser and professor should also be held accountable and I hope the administation will publicly condemn such unethical and immmoral behavior.

  • Michelle

    As a woman who has experienced two miscarriages in her lifetime (that were NOT self induced), this so-called "art" minimizes my pain and trivializes the beauty of having a child. Shame on you Ms. Shvartz.

  • Sad Yale Grad

    I have serious problems with the faculty and deans that approved this project--whether it is real or fake.

    How many times will my parents say to me, "We paid $160,000 for what?"

    First, it was the Taliban guy, then the transfer student/imposter, now this "art."

  • todok

    This article says:
    "Shvarts stuck to her original story: Yale, she says, is turning its back on her in the face of overwhelming media pressure."

    How could anyone not turn their back on such disgusting, inhumane, despicable behavior? Yale is not doing enough to "turn its back on her." Yale should not let her graduate for bringing it such shame. She is clearly a depraved person (I refrain from using the word "human being," she doesn't merit it).

    Also disgusting and shameful: Any man who let his sperm be used for this purpose. Imagine the dialogue:
    Shvarts: "Hey, Joe, good friend, would you please deposit some of your sperm in this cup for me, and give the cup back to me?"
    Guy: "Uh, what for?"
    Shvarts: "Well, I'm going to impregnate myself with your sperm (or try anyway). And then I am going to deliberately induce a miscarraige. Its art you know."
    Guy: " Oh, for art. Sure. Sounds fine. Back in a minute."

    Both Shvarts and any guy who participated in this despicable, revolting behavior deserve all the opprobrium they receive.

  • Shazaam

    The essential nature of art is that it doesn't require commentary to be appreciated (or criticized). Art speaks for itself. Whatever Shvarts did, its the end result that should be viewed, interpreted and critiqued. Her press release turns a visual idea into a political statement and that diminishes the art as it tries to imbue the art with meaning it doesn't contain as a free standing work.

    How much better it would be to see her work, and interpret for ourselves what she is doing and the meaning behind it. Art is a mirror for our humanity, not a weapon to be directed at the viewer.

    Does a film get better because the director explains how they made it?

    Do we need to know the thought process of a painter or should we not simply view the painting and have a reaction.

    What Shvarts did may or may not be art, but ultimately we may never know the answer because she stole our right and ability to interpret what she did as a visual expression of something, by turning it into political theatre.

  • guilty

    I ask all of you who are #21 to have the courage to do some research and take a look at the photographs of the hamburger you are eating tonight. You should be willing to educate yourself about the actual facts. These are easy to find. Just google for gallery of images. Vegan Outreach also posted a whole series of these images.

  • C. Zandbergen

    May God have pity on your soul. This woman may regret her action when she decided to become a mom…will God entrust her with another??????????

    How sad. Expell her!Please!

  • Keaton

    I quote Shvarts, “…the impossibility of accurately identifying the resulting blood”; and, “…only I know the number of fabricators who participated…” Has this student lost her mind? Has she ever heard of DNA sampling?

    Assuming that this is not a hoax, I find it suspect that these “donors” would agree to Shvarts’ plan since if she failed to abort, a donor would become a father and possibly liable for child support. More likely is the scenario that she procured sperm without the donor’s knowledge and consent. The method by which it was obtained, stored and relocated to the syringe is probably not relevant. The scenario is playing out like a recent episode of Boston Legal and begs the question: should the District Attorney not become involved?

    Shvarts’ nonsensical diatribe is a prime example of what is wrong with modern art and claimed artisans. It is ripe with faulty logic and asinine metaphors. Shvarts could have simply posted her last sentence: “These organs can do other things, can have other purposes, and it is the prerogative of every individual to acknowledge and explore this wide realm of capability.” Had she posted just that sentence then the debate would be about her thesis; instead, the debate revolves around her sanity – and unfortunately there is no debate.

  • Anonymous

    This woman didn't just 'pop' out of a vacuum. She IS the synthesis of all that is best and bright at Yale!!
    And she's a monster. A cute little 'pigeon-toed' monster with a sweet little girly smile.

    I imagine This is catching the "powers that be" at Yale by complete surprise. They are are so clueless while frantically trying to cover it up with claiming that dear Aliza 'made the whole thing up.' But like any self- respecting sociopathic narcissist, Aliza will not be cowed and insists her story is true.

    What really should concern the Yale board of directors is that Aliza wasn't and isn't alone. She is just ONE of a whole brood they've engendered with the godless, liberal, relativistic philosophy spewed from higher academia these past 40 or so years. Their confusion must be something akin to how the intelligentsia in Pre-world war II Europe felt in Germany when they began to see their pure and idealistic musings on race and eugenics become death camps, or for those in Eastern Europe who saw their pompous ideals being born into gulags and purges. Personally, I think this intellectual spawn will be the daddy of them all…it's *just* now percolating up to the surface, and the smell is fetid already.

    Just think if you can…of a whole university filled with bright eyed spunky individuals, going out to our world be doctors, lawyers, statesmen and CEO's who all have similar philosophical foundation to that which created Ms. Aliza's blood smeared philosophy that she so eloquently defends in her explanation of her 'art project'. Nothing good can come of it.

    I find it terrifying.

  • Jackie

    As an artist and a young woman who had once had an abortion, I find this whole idea offensive and absurd. Aliza, please you couldn't come up with a better way to depict this issue? Abortion is not just some hot political issue about who has control over a woman's body to be talked about in coffee houses and campus cribs. It is a very real, very often scary, isolating, and not to be scoffed at experience that is made by women all over this country every day. I don't regret my choice, but years down the road will you?

  • nunya

    bet her parents are real proud now

  • Anonymous

    I am writing my congressional representatives to ask that Yale's federal funding be immediately suspended and that all federally owned works that are in the possession of Yale's library be recalled to the Library of Congress. I'd urge others to do the same until Yale chooses to enforce its ethics policies.

    People who believe this is a free speech issue are woefully misguided. Yale is a private university that can regulate speech any way that it wishes. If this junk is allowed to be displayed on University property then the school should pay a price for its support of her project.

    I'm pro-choice and this sickens me because it sets back the movement decades. From now on social conservatives will use this to fuel donations and support for overturning Roe v. Wade. This girl should be ashamed at what she has done. Furthermore, for those women that have had the pain of experiencing real miscarriages or who went through the mental anguish associated with abortion, it must be nice to see some girl come along and trivialize everything that they went through. She should be dealt with immediately by the university with failure for the project and an immediate suspension or expulsion.

  • Gaviota

    She calls her depraved, grisly, macabre, and ghastly project "ART."

    <i>"I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity," Shvarts said.</i>

    Sorry, but <b>"art as politics and ideologies"</b> has been done, and much, MUCH better than Shvarts is apparently capable of. For example: Guernica, by Picasso.

    <i>"I think that I'm creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be."</i>

    Sorry, but in my humble opinion, her "art" bears as much resemblence to the "standard of what art is supposed to be" as the SAW movies do to Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and Ben-Hur.

    And then there's the ethical questions arising from the use medical waste and blood-borne pathogens as a public display.

  • Jason

    Thanks Mom for paying for my Yale education; as you can see I'm really learning quite a bit.

    I can't believe that more companies than ever are saying that current grads are not qualified for the real world.

    Next years project will be a study of the effects of shooting heroin every day and the filming of it.

  • anonymous

    Whether its real or fake, will Yale post warning notices for its exhibition so parents can protect their non-aborted children from seeing it?
    Will Yale suspend the exhibit until Shvarts and Yale publicly agree whether it is real or fake?
    If I take human excrement, mix it with ground meat, make burgers, give it to my friends and film their reaction when I tell them what is in it, will I get to exhibit the film at Yale? How about if I leave out the excrement but lie that it is in the burgers, will Yale show the film then?

  • Nosamesame

    OK, I have no artistic ability, but I could do a modern art piece in an after noon. I could take 2 girls one cup video and turn it into a social commentary on the wasted calories one expels every day and how we should find a way to recycle them due to the issues of world hunger.
    Hey, Im an artist now!

  • inri

    You people clearly have no concept of art if you're going to excoriate this brave, creative young woman for making such a moving and thought-provoking piece of art. A miscarriage really can be a wonderful, beautiful thing and I think it's spectacular that such a young and promising student can express this sentiment in a tasteful, well-reasoned way. Props to Ms. Shvarts for her unique contribution to art.

  • goatboy

    Exceptional work by Ms. Shvarts. I can see a Chuck Palahniuk novel being based on her artistic brilliance. Bravo!

  • Yale Alum

    It doesn't matter if this was "performance art" or real. Ms. Shvarts has trivialized pregnancy, artificial insemination, abortion and miscarriage. As someone who has tried to have a child and experienced miscarriage and invasive medical treatment in order to do so, I am personally very offended by this.

    The university's excuse by saying it's OK because it's just "performance art" rings hollow. It's still tasteless and hurtful. The faculty members who approved this senior project should be fired, and Ms. Shvarts should receive a failing grade for a project that contains nothing but shock value and no genuine creativity.

  • Robspierre's whore

    US out of my uterus!
    Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!
    Stop your chauvanist bullshit before i make you kiss my hairy armpit!
    Abortion on demand, and without apology!

  • TryingtoConceive528

    this makes me ill. i can't even believe i'm reading this, who would even think of doing something so disgusting? she has major issues, and most likely doesn't even value her own life! Once you conceive a baby, it is a person. It doens't matter what other people say, you still have a little life inside of you. She needs help, I would never wish this for anyone in the world, but I do hope that she has ruiened the chances of her ever having children, she doesn't deserve it be a Mother. I have been trying to conceive myself for almost 4 years with my husband, this makes me sad to see how someone can do something like this on purpose, several times, and then show it off to the world!! what a SICK-O!

  • Kurt

    a tire iron is supposed to be used for changing a tire.

    just because it is used in the commission of a crime (breaking and entering, murder, etc…) does not suggest that all aspects of the use of a tire iron should be explored.

    i am saddened for this poor child's mental state. she has been twisted.

    she abuses herself for attention, and (possibly) has destroyed life in that same desperate act.

    how deeply sad.

  • Yolanda

    This whole situation is bizarre and disturbing. If this girl is telling the truth, as she claims to be, then she needs to be prosecuted AND institutionalized. Moreover, shame on Yale for condoning the project, whether it was a hoax or not! Yale has smeared its good reputation. I am horrified. Whether one is prochoice or prolife, this should be a wake up call for all.

  • Anonymous

    1,000,000 is a real figure. Google it, there are reputable sources behind it.

    I'll pay you to ingest depleted uranium or to add it to your water supply. I really mean it when I say I'll pay you.

  • Yale '94

    Setting aside the serious ethical issues directly related to Ms. Shvarts's self- induced abortions, I find her defense sorely lacking (YDN "Shvarts explains her 'repeated self-induced miscarriages'").

    1) She states she never knew if she indeed was pregnant ("the impossibility of accurately identifying the resulting blood." ) Ms. Shvarts needs to read up on medical science, or at least watch CSI now and again.

    2) Since she apparently rejects scientific monitoring of the measurable hormonal and DNA changes that accompany pregnancy, why then, does she primly assert her "fabricators [sperm donors]… submitted to periodic STD screenings." Why now the reliance on medical science when faced with a nasty infection, Ms. Shvartz? Perhaps there are after all “realities” in your self-constructed world of “linguistic and political reality.”

    Rather than an interrogation of contemporary complexities regarding the body and epistemology, Ms. Shvarts's work instead indicates nothing more than intellectual laziness.

    And intellectually lazy people do not deserve Yale diplomas.

  • Big Dog

    How sad.

    How pathetic.

    Speaking as both a pro-choice male and artist, I find this kind of behavior disgusting. This isn't art. This is arrogant bullshit. I am all for challenging boundaries and pushing the envelope, but this isn't doing anything like that - women all over the world are trying to have children and miscarry - my mother miscarried three times before she was able to conceive, and this… child… has just arrogantly and disturbingly spit in the face of that.

    Aside from all that, all those drugs this child has taken have more than likely irreparably damaged her reproductive system and may end up causing her permanent damage to her ovaries and cervix. I hope so.

  • Zspliff

    I could write a book on this thought, I have not the time nor the patients to so here is the condensed version. Outside of act itself, as someone already have mentioned the sex workers eastern Europe [not sure how it compares however as I’m sure they don’t try and claim it as art]. Hit the big picture for a second. Shvarts says "… it is a myth that ovaries and a uterus are .meant. to birth a child". An interesting thought to say the least, possibly even true to an extent when taken using the sexual nature of what she said before "that penises and vaginas are .meant. for penetrative heterosexual sex (or that mouths, anuses, breasts, feet or leather, silicone, vinyl, rubber, or metal implements are not .meant. for sex at all)" is a very true statement. However if we are to agree to these statements [at least the ones about ovaries] all of a sudden we are (the ones who agree) are dooming us as a species. If we agree that the ovaries and a uterus are can be used for other reasons than procreation [having those "other" functions are be as important procreation] we tread in a dangerous zone where we can walk into our extension as species. The uproar from everyone weather an artist, a mother, or religious person is simply a reaction that is built into us genetically, we intrinsically [as a species] want to continue to survive, just like any other species from single cell organisms up.

  • Josh Rohauer

    Good for you Aliza!! These knucklehead haters probably didn't read your well written article about your exhibit. Art is meant to bring out emotion in people. Only a hypocrite would say "this isn't art, it's disgusting and makes me mad" Art can not be judged. For what it's worth you have my support

  • missy2007

    Shvart, you make me sick. But, I hope you get the help you need.

  • Moishe Pipuk

    I can't believe the University and the Yale Daily News would allow this constant racist reference to African Americans be repeated over and over: using the pseudonym of "A. Shvarts" is just out and out horrible. Didn't she used to call herself "Alice Black."

  • Tyler

    This just in shvarts has endorsed Obama, and he says he has been a huge fan of her art work for years, how ever he hs not been influenced by any of it.

  • TP

    The sheer numbers of negative responses here shows how important it is for an artist to challenge the standard ideas about a woman being able to control her own uterus. Obviously we think that the idea of a woman deciding that she can influence, even in an ambiguous way, the fluids and cells in her own uterus is shocking and gross.

    What is truly shocking is how universal the idea that a woman should have no control and no say over what happens to her own body.

    It's also somewhat shocking that the very idea of conceptual performance-based artwork is completely misunderstood.

  • Sara

    The University is full of BS. Why don't they just take some of the responsibility for this instead of saying this was "fiction?"

    Also, if an unattractive, middle-aged (pre-menopausal, to clarify) single woman who lived alone with 11 cats did this exact same thing (and even, called it ART) what do you think would happen to her? Why is anyone giving this person the time of day?

  • Art

    The Marquessa de Sade in a room (or cube) of mirrors, surrounded by a society gone mad with pharmaceutical improvisation. Sounds like legitimate art to me.

  • Utterly Disgusted!

    Okay, this egotistical ignoramous has had her day of fame, and it will be short lived. If her name is even remembered in a month, sadly, it won' be in a positive limelight, but that of disgust and loathing.

    What she did, for art's sake or not (which IMO this was NOT art of any sort) was disgusting, demeaning and angering.

    I sincerely hope that she did not actually conceive a child(ren) and abort. I have miscarried, and I know the pain, anguish and grief that comes along with it. It is a hurt that NEVER goes away!! How dare she make a mochary of a gift that has been given to us (women).. the gift to create and carry a life.

    You madame (Shvarts) are in dire need of professional counseling, as is anyone that could possibly conceive that this TRASH is art.

    And Shvarts, I am pretty sure that Darwin is rolling in his grave, screaming madly, "YOU! OUT OF THE GENE POOL!!"

  • Anonymous

    For the record, I don't think this was a good idea and I understand how it will be seen. Nonetheless, I wanted to make a parallel. People feel so self-righteous in criticizing this but remain silent in the face of bigger crimes.

    As for conspiracies? I was as hesitant to approach them as anyone but you can't argue with science and any one who does research will realize that not all the questions have been answered.

  • Jaireh Tecarro

    This is horrifying and absolutely unacceptable. To have this spectacle be paraded around as art is absurd. Good art uplifts and makes us think about the complexities of human experience. This is immoral and a sure sign of an inferior "artist".

  • Sickened

    The sad thing about this is that as we allow and/or support this type of attention seeking behavior as a society. Unstable individuals like this depraved creature will continue to excise more heinous and shocking spectacles to draw attention to themselves in the name of some distorted reason or another; Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, Individualism, Artistic Expression. These ever-so-important values and gifts are tarnished (to say the least) by egocentric and emotionally unstable individuals like this poor excuse for a human being.

    Consider this any intellectual and overtly tolerant individuals out there….how far is too far for standing behind Freedoms and Art like cowards? Should we tolerate someone like this person humiliating and torturing your family members to explore “Artistic Human Expressions of Grief and Pain” or maybe we should consider a defense for someone like Jeffrey Dahmer that defines his actions as a “Freedom of Expressions for his Homicidal and Cannibalistic Urges.”

    Where do you draw the line? I would suggest that it is when it forces pain onto others, as in this case when the life experiences of couples like my wife and I who have experienced the very real emotional and physical pain of losing a child because of a true miscarriage are trivialized by the inhuman acts of a sick person like Shvarts.

  • Susie C

    The real travesty of this situation is that the professors at an American institution of higher learning have stripped their students of rational thought (most likely on the basis that said students have been brainwashed by ethnocentric commercial radicals) to such an extent that they are now revisiting the pedantics of miscarriage? Newsflash,if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, and walks like a duck. It's a duck.
    Reinventing the wheel with your "innovative art" is not independent thought. Grow up and get a job… the reality is that people outside Yale's pearly gates are starving, homeless and dying. Why don't you do something useful and help them. Shame on you.

  • Jen U

    As a mother of 3 beautiful girls, that I only had after suffering 4 miscarriages, I am completely appauled by this. At first I was enraged that she could do this, and that a school would support her in doing this. Then I was pissed that the media was giving her so much attention. Now, I am a bit numb. Can you imagine what this girl must have gone through as a child to have turned into a woman like this? So sad. To want to take her menstrual fluids (or possibly aborted tissues, though I don't believe she was pregnant) and want to show this to the world? Poor, poor, girl.

  • Uuugggghhh

    What a sick person, who will ultimately pay for their futile understanding at life. Yale is really getting blood on its hands with this one, so what a great thought for the country to have of Yale, the College where Abortion is Art. Next, sacrafice a serviceman for the sabboth? I wouldnt doublt it at Yale… now…

  • Anonymous

    Yale can drop students every day. For misconduct, or defaults of any kind.

    What are they waiting for??? Do it already!!

  • Tim

    "heteronormative trappings?"

    Someone's been using a thesaurus!

    Please. Pseudo-intellectual claptrap. Pampered, elitist, suburbanite children go off to the Ivy League, engage in “outrageous” behavior, then cloak it in words of more than five syllables. Pampered, elitist, suburbanite children go off to the Ivy League, go to work for the school newspaper and report on said “outrageous” behavior.

    Aliza Shvarts and the Yale Daily News. Nothing more than tired clichés.

    Please. Stop. You're ridiculous.

  • wow

    <i>If Ms. Shvarts is able to conduct a miscarriage without being traumatized, well it means she wasn't traumatized by it…</i><br>

    It probably hasn't traumatized her because she obviously lacks a soul. Anyone who has had a miscarriage at one point or another will or has been traumatized by it, in some form or another. Myself included.

  • Brainwashed American

    Wow… What a great country we live in.

  • Anonymous

    Epic trolling is truly epic. This occasion calls for dead fetus and baby jokes.

    You humorless, witless dullards can take your standards and moral outcries back to your hugbox. You're only succeeding in amplifying her message and feeding her the attention (and popularity) she craves.

    Academic freedom = #1.

  • Anonymous

    IN RESPONSE TO: I am relieved that my daughter, who was recruited by Yale, decided to attend another institution. That an institution could produce two individuals like jose abrue and Shvartz is hardly a testament to its credentials.

    I am glad your daughter did not attend Yale as well, if she possesses such a close-minded and judgmental mindset as her parents. Yale does not support nor routinely manufacture such intellectually questionable individuals as Jose or Shvartz. Concordantly, the vast majority of students would not express themselves similarly or condone Shvartz or Jose's approach. If your daughter goes to a school worth a grain of salt, it is possible that someone from her current school might also make an attempt to 'shock' or 'offend' the rest of the university - unfortunately, no university which invites intellectual expression is immune to such ridiculous gaffes.

    The fact that such 'individuals' may attend Yale says less about Yale than you imply. I'm sure whatever university your daughter attends has its own mixed bag of students among a majority of solid, critical intellectuals as do most top-tier universities. The difference is that when one of those mixed bag students makes a mistake or purposefully offends the very credentials set forth publicly by their host institution, people like yourself immediately blame the institution which only seeks to cultivate its students with an environment that supports free speech, intellectual diversity, and social awareness. What Shvarts did or Jose says is not indicative of Yale or its standards or the vast majority of students at Yale - it is indicative that, occasionally, when a premier institution encourages its students to be intellectually interesting and challenges them to think beyond the parameters of immediacy, some students will take it entirely too far and some will make choices that reflect only their own, personal disconnection with reality and society.

    That being said, I wish your daughter good luck at Harvard :).

  • Anonymous

    As a woman and a mother, I applaud her genius and courage. Life and its random fragility should never depart from the human conversation. If you have to be awakened by the shock of this art project you should be ashamed you were alseep.

  • Theresa

    Miscarriages and ABORTIONS are two totally different things. She is self inflicting these so called "miscarriages" upon herself for obvious attention which she calls art. There are plenty of women out there every single day who SUFFER from miscarriages and this girl is going to outright flaunt the sick disgusting things she does and call it art? Let's just hope that this woman is never EVER blessed by the true gift of children!!!

  • A. Nonymous

    This smacks more of a cultural anthropology experiment than a performance art piece, the likely postulated question being "How hard is it to get a huge swath of pin-headed imbeciles stirred up, gibbering, and foaming at the mouth?" I daresay that we now have the answer: Its frightfully easy.

  • Wendy

    There is no moral difference between this and the type of human experimentation done by German intellectuals and doctors during the Third Reich.

    That she is doing it to herself only indicates that Ms. Shvarts has chosen to draw the line in a slightly different place than did the Nazis.

    If she is indicative of the type of individual our universities are cultivating, then we as a society are surely lost.

  • Nicholas Stojakovich

    Self Induced Abortion; A New Art Form

    Not unlike other anarcha-feminists who use “art forms” as political propaganda Davenport College Senior and Yale University Art Major, Aliza Shvarts sought to trivialize procreation and the gut wrenching an agonizing decision that many women face everyday regarding abortion in her seriously misguided efforts to “start a discussion” with her abortion as art project. Indeed it was not a discussion at all that she intended to provoke but a statement that she intended to make. She new exactly what she was doing however she failed to predict the general outrage or that the Yale Art Department would withdraw its previous support.
    Here are some of her own words describing her intentions:
    “I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity, I think that I’m creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be.”
    “It is the intention of this piece to destabilize the locus of that authorial act, and in doing so, reclaim it from the heteronormative structures that seek to naturalize it.
    As an intervention into our normative understanding of the real. and its accompanying politics of convention, this performance piece has numerous conceptual goals. The first is to assert that often, normative understandings of biological function are a mythology imposed on form. It is this mythology that creates the sexist, racist, ableist, nationalist and homophobic perspective, distinguishing what body parts are meant. to do from their physical capability. The myth that a certain set of functions are natural. (while all the other potential functions are unnatural.) undermines that sense of capability, confining lifestyle choices to the bounds of normatively defined narratives.
    Just as it is a myth that women are meant. to be feminine and men masculine, that penises and vaginas are meant. for penetrative heterosexual sex (or that mouths, anuses, breasts, feet or leather, silicone, vinyl, rubber, or metal implements are not .meant. for sex at all), it is a myth that ovaries and a uterus are meant to birth a child.”
    Yale University Art Major: Aliza Shvarts

    The message:

    Reproductive freedom at any and all costs. Women now have all the power they need to become pregnant and to end a pregnancy without a man. Let me show you how its done.

    Men are no longer needed or wanted except as an occasional play thing. Inspite of the enormous health risks a woman might take to self induce an abortion with the use of unregulated herbal medicines or RU486 it is apparently a risk worth taking all in the name of complete and total reproductive freedom or should I say complete and total isolated individualism.

    What is most troublesome is that Yale University totally supported this project until it provoked an outrage. I am all for artistic freedom and expression but this has clearly crossed a line. Yale needs to examine its policy. While Ms. Shvarts is now saying that it was a “hoax” or “creative fiction” all efforts were used to communicate that it was in fact real photos of her artificially inseminating and then aborting herself on multiple occasions.

  • class of 83

    If the girl was writing a novel, this might be a troubling, but interesting plot. But in real life, this is about as artistic as self-immolation. I could overlook all of this -- as a misguided cabal between the girl and her senior thesis advisor -- however the failure of the Yale Administration to STRONGLY condemn the entire display (whether fictional or not) is unforgivable. President Levin take note: I just tore up my 25th reunion gift check….and when that gentlemen from the Development Office calls me next month, I'll gladly explain why…

  • Anonymous

    i hope that this was just a way to get attention. unfortunately shvarts not only disgraced her self but every other woman on this earth. i am ashamed. i agree with much of RH Reality Check has said and NO the only insight i have gained on this subject(as im sure so have many others) is that shvarts is a fool and so is whoever signed off on this "project."
    call me "religious" but i believe that if this actually happened then shvarts will get hers in the end. So congrats you win… eternal damnation.

  • Arturo

    …instead of "inducing an abortion," Ms. Shvartz should "produce" a sorely needed psychiatrist for herself…

  • Jodi

    She should be kicked out!! How can the school allow this even if it is not "real". She is sick and twisted and this is a black mark on Yale.

  • Kelli

    I think that it is too late for Yale to claim that this is all fake to save their reputation. Between this and an earlier Yale article this year, Yale's reputation as an exclusive and superior school has been quite tarnished in the eyes of many. I would expect better from a state funded school than we have seen from Yale this school year. It seems that the school would rather encourage sensationalism and rationalize reprehensible behavior these days instead of encouraging the kind of education that this institution of higher learning used to stand for.

    The fact that anyone would have accepted this as a project in the first place is unacceptable. There was a time when a senior project would have required reseaerch, time, effort, and some indication that the college education had taught the individual something. Is it now appropriate to show bleeding into a cup as art? Does Yale draw the line with other bodily functions? Perhaps next year's students can vomit or urinate repeatedly to create their senior projects. Surely a person with a degree granted as a result of this project will have the right credentials to win a place on the staff of a supermarket tabloid.

    The idea that anyone could have come up with such a concept, unbelievable and surely the sign of a very mentally ill individual. The university should be concerned for this individual's wellbeing and for those around her.

    In any case, Ms. Schwartz has proven herself to be a mentally disturbed invidual. Whether her story is true or not, she is an individual capable of great insensitivity to all women -- those who choose to have children, those who have unintended miscarriages, and those who choose abortion. If the story is true, she has demonstrated that she is capable of self harm. And, if her story is a lie, she has also shown the lengths to which she will go to bring attention to herself at the expense of others, including Yale.

    Hopefully the publicity will follow her in life enough to keep her from getting employment in a capacity where she can harm herself or others, either physically or emotionally.

  • Jessie

    As a mother who lost a child to a terrible genetic disease I am disgusted by this on many levels! Her abortions, that she called "self-induced miscarriages" are a sick reminder that there are people who have no respect for life or even the feelings of those around them! What type of "art" is this??!! What does this prove?! We now struggle with fertility issues (morals)since we have found we are carriers (since my pregnancy) and it sickens me to think that precious life was killed and disregarded as "art"……while we watched our beloved daughter suffer with a horrible disease for 3 months of her life!
    Sickening…there is a special place for people like this and it saddens me to think this woman could some day, potentially be a mother herself.

    What an abuse of an education, her own body, other human beings (the abortions), and her gift of reproduction.

  • Diane in Pittsburgh

    Come on Alieeeeeeeeeeeza, Tell me , what else can your uterus and ovaries do??????????? maybe play a tune????? don't think so. So, it can do nothing but, participate in the creation of life, life which you so willingly and easily can destroy! If life did exist before you willingly and knowingly destroyed it what does that make you? I know and the One who made you knows! In the end what you measure out is what you will reap! God be merciful with the life you so generously waste, your own.

  • yalie'80

    Why oh why didn't she go to Harvard?????

  • Katherine

    Yale will no longer be receiving their yearly alumni check from me.

    Cranking out future alumn like this is truly embarrassing.

  • faithdefender

    Yale's original mission was to instruct men and women to know and teach God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life.

    Yale is now way off course, therefore Yale is now infective and just a money making machine.

  • anonymous

    OK, number 84. That was funny and cute, but did you actually do a search and look at images of aborted fetuses? I promise you, if you do so, you will not be able to be so flip. You will see images of hands,feet,arms and legs and heads that have been torn apart as the abortionist uses his instrument to extract the fetus. I am talking about first term abortions. Have the courage to look. Google gallery of images plus abortions or go to priests for life and search around for the images. What are you afraid to see?

  • anonymous

    This is not hamburger, # 84. Please take a look.
    Galleries of Images of Aborted Children

    Gallery 1: Chronological Photo Index of first trimester aborted babies.

    Gallery 2: Photographs of late-term abortions.

    Gallery 3: Photographs of aborted babies at various stages, retrieved from dumpsters.

    Gallery 4: Photographs of children killed in second trimester abortions.

    The story and photo of Baby Malachi.

  • artists in defense of art

    Mrs. Shvart's work does indeed provoke…and speak volumes, but not in the way she intends. After reading the description of the art and her explanation behind its meaning, I can only conclude that she is wrong about what it represents. Is it not, in a nutshell, a woman engaging in highly destructive behavior for her own gain? In this respect, how is Mrs. Shvart any deifferent than Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, or the like. It does speak volumes about our society, the egocentric side of it, the denial of personal responsibility. Now there are rumors, started then denyed, that the abortions were "fiction". Oddly, and people may hate me for saying it, I'd have more respect for her if the abortions WERE real. It would at least say something to the conviction of the artist for her message. Without it, your just an attention seeker AND a fake.

  • yalie

    I am tired of people saying that "Yale University" supported her project. To get a senior project approved, you go through an adviser and maybe one or two other officials. To say that "Yale is turning out sociopathic baby-killers" is an insult to people like me to disapprove of Aliza's actions. Don't condemn Yale and halt donations because one irresponsible student singlehandedly killed Yale's PR (and right before Bulldog Days! The admissions recruiters must be thrilled!).

  • FrankenYale

    # 111
    Your comment about Madame de Sade suggests you believe a woman takes pleasure in mutilitaing her body? Or that this female artist takes pleasure in having you THINK about the worldwide practice of female genital mutilation, (the category under which this artist's manipulation of her deeper interior reproducive organs loosely falls)?

    In either case the person is taking pleasure in harming herself which is masochism not sadism.

    Unless of course you belive the artist is taking pleasure in harming the pharmaceutically idolatrous Frankensociety we have created for our bodies in the name of health.

    Brava art! And Bravo, brava journalism! Together you have created a mirror into which the nemeses of our Snow White society now either (as this blog suggests) gaze---or spit.

  • jen

    What a sick girl.HOw could a college allow this at all?She should be in jail shes not a doctor and she was murdering unborn babies.How in the world can u call this art?Shes a sick individual and needs professional help in a state prison.I am disgusted with this woman and the college b/c the school is only covering their own butts by saying its all false.I am appalled by hearing this and knowing a human being could ever do something so horrible.It makes me sick and she should be punished by law and thrown out of college and so should the teacher who allowed her to do this.

  • Vman

    Amazing. She probably got what she wanted: publicity and attention (to what end though). She successfully (and shamefully) demonstrated multiple stereotypes: degenerate art (if it can even be considered as such), showmanship/publicity, hoax/fraudster.

    What will she do now since she made a name for herself? Design and peddle handbags like Monica Lewinsky?

    When will Americans wake-up to all this rubbish before it's too late and people like Aliza destroys our remaining values.

  • Im Glad

    As a pro-choice individual by nature, I am glad a woman had the right to stand for what she believes in! I think the whole concept of the project is being missed! I think there are a lot of women's rights groups that would agree with the point that is getting across!

  • SJW

    Wow. Genius yale. Just genius. Claim that it was fiction (knowing that it was not), and when she denies it claim that she told you behind closed doors that she would deny it. Unbelievable. It’s like the mental process one would expect out of a two year old! Your school is the most overrated school in the entire country, and this whole episode demonstrates that profoundly. Actually, you’re not even really a school – you’re just a gigantic social experiment, a cesspool of degenerate and immoral bums who were admitted based on factors wholly unrelated to academic aptitude – a fact that is well illustrated by this most recent attempt of one of your animals (sorry, “yalees”) to destroy life in the name of academia. Unbelievable.

  • Louis Torres

    Regardless of whether the content of her project is real or faked, Aliza Shvarts is either a fraud or severely irrational, just like her counterparts in the artworld at large who practice or encourage the bogus art form known as “performance art.” I would enjoy hearing from students or others affiliated with Yale who think as much, or who are at the very least skeptical. --- Louis Torres, Co-Editor, Aristos (An Online Review of the Arts) and Co-Author, What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Open Court, 2000)

  • marie

    Have we forgotten about Judy Chicago, Miriam Shapiro, and the women students from Womanhouse who in the '70s did art similar to this. Provocative art, many having to do with women and their bodies. I think this is just as extreme as the work done by those inspiring women over 30 years ago. I mean even there we had bloody tampons used as art (however, I do not believe it was real blood but the point was the same nonetheless).
    This is art. The point is that it does make people think about it, hate it, be inspired by it, etc. I think she has accomplished more than she might have set out to do.

  • Anonymous

    Can women who have miscarried stop projecting their anger on to Aliza? Seriously, enough. There's more to it than that and the discussion should not be quelled because of personal tragedies.

  • scott

    William Borden would be ashamed if he was here to see what Yale has become.

  • M-Lou

    Hard to say which is worse: the attempt of so-called "artist" Shvarts to pass off abortion as "art" or Costa Rican "artist" Guillermo Vargas Habacuc who in 2007 took a dog from the street, tied the animal to a rope in an art gallery and starved the animal to death so he and the gallery's visitors could watch the dog's death throes.

    Self-styled "artists" resort to this kind of sensationalism because of one thing: NO TALENT.

  • Wild Orchid

    I am the mother of two boys and this absolutely sickens me! Ms. Shvart's idea of "art" is extremely disturbing and tasteless. Since when is having your period and saving the blood art? The only reason this has captured any attention is because she used the word ABORTION. Maybe if she had called it Menstruation Art, Tampax could have sponsored the exhibit!
    Good luck to you Ms. Shvarts. What will you do for an encore??

  • yen

    What you people seem to be missing is that none of this has anything to do with you. It's her body. If you don't like it, stop looking, stop reading, and go populate.


  • my response

  • Dropdeadinbed

    If having 9+ forced miscarriages is considered then I suppose masturbation is Mass-genocide. As for the art aspect to Junior High for me. But from a morale standpoint I see nothing wrong with it. She is noting breaking the law, and she isn't forcing her viewpoints on anyone. Offended by it…. then don't go.

  • rational being

    I barely have time to comment on this much less make a youtube video but I do propose that someone make one that is a slideshow of all of the ridiculousness coming from these ivy league schools (you can include quotes from Harvard's professors of "Ethics" proposing that it is okay to murder disabled children for population control or someone from Princeton who says that you can kill anyone before the age of reason--the list goes on). Congrats to those heading these "prestigious" places of higher learning for having actually turned places like Yale and Harvard into something someone would actually turn down after being offered entrance. Yeah, this is a stellar institution alright--for those who should be institutionalized.

  • Sarah B.

    As a 23 year old who has lost a baby. It angers me that someone would think that this would make a good "project"! When you feel your baby kick and see the heart beat which btw is at 6 weeks, lets see then if you can tell me it was a good idea to take the life of your unborn baby!

  • Elizabeth N.

    This is not art. Art is mearly a word used to let her get away with this disguting act. I wish this case alone, would overturn R v W and we could charge this lady with MURDER. I pray for a life time of infertility for her.

  • Tim

    She is simply another "attention whore". I hope she is prepared for the karma when she grows up and tries to start a family.

  • NekoNeko

    @ #86, that's exactly what I was thinking. It is indeed possible to test to see whether she was pregnant or not. There are chemicals that your body starts to produce once you are pregnant that are used to enable the blastula (which is what it would be at that point) to attatch to the uterus & to go on to form a baby. This is info that you learn in Biology 101, which obviously Ms Shvarts has either not taken, slept through, or is hoping that the general public won't have taken. I seriously believe that this is a hoax & that subsequent tests will find that all that is in the piece is fake blood, vaseline, & some traces of menstrual blood.

    I sneer at Ms Shvarts's work, mostly due to the fact that she hasn't lived long enough or leaned enough to make this art project believable. She claims to have such strong opinions, but at her age she has no true knowledge of the outside world. She can flippantly claim that she cares not about the damage done to her body or whether she was actually pregnant, but I doubt that would be the case later if she actually did this & caused irreputable harm to her body that only showed later in life. I don't really care about what she did, I'm just more upset at her over the type marketing scheme to get herself noticed & that she is making a piece of art about something she knows little to NOTHING about. She is too sheltered to know anything about what she is preaching. If she had actually researched her project & gone outside of her protective shell, this would be a more poignant piece. As it is now (even if her claims are true), her work is little better than a toddler's fingerpaintings of the family home. She can get the basic structures right, but she isn't getting (and has no way of truly understanding) the big picture.

  • S. Bozich

    Jose (if that is your real name): you are truly Yale material! After perusing your website I must say, you spell as well as GW talks!

    As for the issue of Ms. Shvarts, allow me to preface my comments by saying that I am so much a right-wing nut that I make Rush Limbaugh sound like Al Franken. That said, I am incredibly pro-choice, for both philosophical and pragmatic reasons.
    Philosophically, the title of "mother" comes with inherent responsibilities that are bereft of a woman willing to cut from her body the life she is nurturing. Therefore, any woman willing to have an abortion should not be a mother.
    Pragmatically speaking, no true Conservative would ever consent to such a procedure (barring mitigating circumstances which absolve one of moral obligations). Therefore only non-conservatives ever have an abortion, which has the benefit of increasing the proportion of Conservatives in society; or in other words, abortion kills liberals, therefore I'm pro-choice.

    It is a shame that Ms. Shvarts' mother was not a performance artist.

  • not so bright.

    I am a 35 yr old mother of 4 from Scotland, unlike Ms Shvart I do not have the benefit of a college education behind me. I do however have 5 miscarriages behind me!
    From what I have read this woman seems to be mocking me my experience.
    She inseminated herself at a time she would be ovulating.
    She then took herbs to induce bleeding.
    She collected the blood.
    Seems what she was to cowardly to do was pee on the stick!
    I think Ms Shvarts samples should be seized and tested and if it is found that she did indeed manage to fertalize an egg then that information should be rammed down her selfish throat!
    I apologise, I am not usually this judgemental of people but this woman was the one who decided to play with emotions she ultimately has not had to experience. She does not know if she ever became pregnant or not so to her this marcarbe little project of hers had no invested emotion. Surely Art needs to have emotion?
    There is a damn site more to Miscarriage than the blood that this pathetic creature decided to reduce the subject to.
    Do I need Ms Shvart and her 'art' to know that my womb is not merely for reproduction? No, My brain tells me that!
    Thank you to those students who were protesting at the shame this woman has brought to your institution and Shame on Yale for trying to squirm away from the reality of this sick endevour. If the Deans of Yale were as clever as they think they are they would have booted her out with the contempt that she deserves.
    Thank you for your time.

  • Paul

    Over 9 self inflicted abortions before the age of 20. She should fit into the
    Democrat party seamlessly. Who knows, she
    may even be a 'super delegate'.

  • NoName

    What most fail to realize is the mentally insane often don't recognize their own faults. Of course, in her mind, she still believes she is beyond brilliant.

    However, in all reality, four white walls and a mattress would serve her well.

    And kudos to Yale, you make me glad I turned you down.

  • Anonymous

    While the comments the rightly condemn this womans actions are really wonderful and well said, I'm heartened to see so many Yale alumni speaking out. But the many many comments that support her are truly creepy.

    They really are.

  • Anonymous

    "it is a myth that ovaries and a uterus are meant to birth a child" - shvart's statement

    how is that a valid concept? there is a reason why there are distributional requirements at yale - so that art majors can go to biology class and learn that yes, ovaries and the uterus ARE meant for pregnancy and birth.

    "Yeah, this is a stellar institution alright--for those who should be institutionalized." - #159

    as a student here, i can assure you that shvart's senior project is an extreme outlier. many of the other ~1299 seniors are actually working hard to develop papers and projects that stand their own in academia.

  • Anonymous

    I find her project to be…glib. yes, that's all it really is. There's nothing about it that raises it to a level that allows us to explore the topics at hand in a new way. She says her point was to "inspire some sort of discourse." That's bull…discourse, and plenty of it, exists on this topic. All this does is cement each side's opinion (prolife vs. prochoice) even further. Isn't that the opposite of what art is supposed to accomplish? An existing "conversation" exists…all she has done is stumble clumsily into the midst of it and fling crap all over the place.

    Look, I *went* to college for art, and I am pro-choice as well. So if anyone would be the sort to stand by what she did, it would be someone like me. But I can't and don't. This was a thoughtless attempt by her, with nothing driving it beyond shock-tactics. That's not talent…that's hack-work or someone wanting attention, no matter the cost.

  • Doom and Gloom

    I think people are forgetting one major thing here, the biohazard. This "art" is one gigantic health code violation, and I will be suprised if the health department doesnt get invloved. For those who think this "art" should be take out of the show, call the local health department to make a complaint. Maybe then the real artists showing that night can get people to see their work.

  • Sarah

    Miscarriage is NOT a beautiful thing. It is heartwrenching, horrible, extremely painful, and absolutely terrible. You obviously have never experienced a m/c or probably even have any human emtions if you think this "art" is acceptable.
    This moron completley trivialized all of us women who have lost our much-wanted babies to m/c. She also triviliazed the feelings of the women who have made the very agonizing decision of abortion.
    And what she did should NOT be labeled miscarriage. She ABORTED her babies, her body didn't naturally kill the baby. The term m/c should be saved for those who truly go through it…not some iditioc crazy lady who thinks she has value with her art.
    Yale needs to kick this chick out of school and hopefully some psychiatrist will step in and give her the help she truly deserves. She is deranged and will definitely be affected by this, real or fake, later on.
    I hope she can never have children b/c that would be the worst insult to all those people who actually want the babies this chick is killing.

  • Anonymous

    Without jumping into the thick of this: most of the commenters who attack Shvarts' claim that "a uterus and ovaries are not 'meant' to birth a child" are missing the point. If you believe that the human body was created singlehandedly by a deity, then it is logical to speak in terms of what body parts are "meant" to do. But scientifically speaking, to say that an organ commonly fulfills a particular function is quite different from saying it was "meant" to fulfill that function--the latter implies that it was designed with intention, which isn't consistent with the theory of natural selection. Thus Shvarts' point about how organs whose primary function may not be sexual can still perform sexual activities. #169 and others who attempt to attack her claim in the name of "science" need to explain how biology justifies using the word "meant" at all.

  • Rich

    This woman is disturbed. And if you think of this as "art" you're just as disturbed as she. She needs to be in a padded room, not a dorm. Ha, maybe her next art project will be to line her dorm walls with feminine napkins.

  • Rachel

    Henk von Assen?

  • Liz

    #4 "I really fail to see how this is any different from women who work in the sex industry and abort up to 10 times a year - something common in parts of eastern Europe. Where is the outrage over that?"

    There is plenty of outrage over that as well, trust me. Not necessarily always because of the abortions though, but because a woman is FORCED into that kind of situation to begin with.

    However, how can you sit here and compare the two? It's impossible for me to comprehend how you think that a privileged young woman attending Yale who ABORT FOR ART, is anything at all similar to a young woman who has been forced into the sex industry and then forced to have abortions because she is no good to her "employer" if she's pregnant.

    Please. It's offensive to draw comparisons.

  • marc

    i support the artist & support a woman's right to choose in any & all situations.

  • Alumna

    Regardless of whether or not these miscarriages actually occurred, Shvarts is doing a great disservice to the pro-choice movement by trivializing the rights which those in the pro-choice camp have fought so hard to protect. This is clearly a shameless attempt to gain publicity. Why else would she take the time to prepare a press release announcing her exhibition? Shvarts, grow up and stop crying for attention.

  • ni

    we are forgetting one key point in all of this debating…

    it's HER BODY


  • gerry

    WOW. You do have an opinion. Did you ever share this with your mother??

  • monologistos

    Some here have asked "What next?" It's already here. Some German scientist found a way to mummify human bodies by injecting plastic. "Unclaimed" bodies, some of which may be Chinese political prisoners have been made into "art", sold on the stock exchange and are coming to museums near you. These corpuses have been flayed and are displayed doing fun things like copulating or riding a bicycle. One shows a partially eviscerated woman so that you can look into her opened womb and see the corpse of a fetus. Here is the link to the private company in question:

    I have to conclude that significant parts of our society are profoundly sick and evil.

  • MOR

    It is difficult to assess because as yet appears to have no monetary value. I am confident that the Chinese will be able to undercut the cost of replicating this work possibly more than once

  • Untitled

    I have a BFA from almost 20 years ago. Pursuing my creative endeavors for "too long" caused me to not be able to have the children I so desperately wanted once I was ready. I could care less about what point she is trying to make. I get lost in the grossness of it (my own hangup I suppose). Unfortunately, I am certain in her mind she is achieving magnificence through self-abuse. If I look beyond my personal pain of miscarriages and infertility, all I see is a young, YOUNG girl, willing to do anything for her 15 minutes of art fame. What is so pathetic, is that if she was ever to lose a potential child that she wanted, and deal with the feelings associated with that, she will probably realize that what the art world thinks and her lousy art professors, is completely and totally meaningless in the grand scheme of life.

  • Montana

    I consider myself an open minded, artistic, pro-choice and a somewhat liberal person and still I find her whole idea morally reprehensible. This girl has some major issues she should be dealing with in intense psychotherapy, not inflicting them upon the public. Abortion is not to be used as a tool to gain noteriety. For many women abortion is a very traumatic event in their lives causing lifelong emotional upheaval, which she is making light of in this disgusting display of narcissism. I support the women who have had to make the decision out of regard to the welfare of their would-be children, but she makes me ashamed to be pro-choice.
    Its people like you , Ms. Shvarts, who help create our bad reputations as Americans. Even if we are in an unjust war right now, I hope you realize you are taking advantage of the freedoms that our soldiers have and are fighting for you to have. These men and women are willing to die for you and your rights--not our government, as you, America's eliete Ivy League Educated, are making a mockery of them and of us all.
    If you want to make a statement then find another way to say it than the blatant disregard for human life and love you are displaying. Did you stop to thing that your repeated abortions may have rendered you infertile? If you do ever have children, you will undoubtedly realize what you so senselessly threw away, and if you don't then I won't be sorry!!
    What makes you think there is no outrage over the sex industry abortions and the deaths in Iraq in Afghanistan? However, they are just not the issue in this case. The women in the sex industry are not Yale educated students, they are poor struggling women who obviously cannot support children, let alone themselves. The issue is not the girl "bleeding into a cup" but about our rights as Americans being abused-- which many of us condider to be an important issue, along with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rest of the horrors in the world right now. Just becuase there are bigger problems and broader issues does not mean we can ignore the disgraces occuring under our noses.

  • @ Dara L

    @ Dara L

    Dara, everyone knows you're not a science major. You're in social science. Leave it to the biology majors to explain the function of organs. Unless you show me you've taken an anatomy class, which I have, I'm inclined to disagree with you. The purpose of the organ IS the same as what the organ is meant for. How else would you term it? You think it's as useless as the appendix?

  • sceptical

    The idea that this performance is real is absurd. In these liability-crazed times no art thesis adviser could permit this project even if it caught the fancy of their twisted sense of aesthetics. The possibility that she could do serious harm to herself as a result of her idiotic 9 month program gives Yale too much culpability.

    Thus if the art project was clearly a hoax, it becomes a publicity stunt. The only interpretation I see of it that is pseudo though-provoking is that she was abiding by the letter of the law while doing this and thus her actions are either legal or one must possibly rethink the law as a whole. In some twisted sense this might be a huge pro-life publicity stunt that has spiraled way out of control: if my actions are legal and after taking the letter of permissibility to the extreme perhaps I have demonstrated the law is iniquitous to begin with? However, conflating getting abortions for pleasure with a woman who chooses an abortion after an agonizing decision are two very different creatures.

  • monologistos

    Thinking back to my college days and the equivalent of "performance art" which was then called "acting out" for attention, Shvarts won't allow any of these comments to change her mind. She's nothing new … narcissism turns anger at a failed and meaningless life against others. Boredom is an INNER state. Look in the mirror. Things ARE bad in the world. Apparently, the postmodern feminism of Shvarts is part of that malaise based on any honest appraisal of this stunt.

    So what are we to make of such a twisted acting out, a mocking and manifestation of societal ill? This is hardly a first … I've seen people struggling through similar rounds of self-abuse, often with drugs being the principle disrupter. First, if someone wants to disavow the human race, ask if they are disavowing the insurance risk pool. If Scharts starts bleeding and needs hospital care, will she be happy to be refused … because she opted out? Her supposed right expressed here isn't much different from suicide. The mantra of "It's my body" rings about as true with Shvarts' project as with suicide. The obvious intent is to harm others by being self-harming. And that doesn't even address the question of a fetus as a separate being. It makes me wonder if there wasn't some wisdom, if ignorant, in how every previous age would have identified her … as a practitioner of black magic or as a witch.

    Sharts sought attention and notoriety. She manifested mental illness and profanity and narcissism. Possibly, she demonstrated that the moral category of "wickedness" still has meaning.

  • I'm Blue.

    Very disturbing. People would do anything for their thesis. God. This is sick.

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