Sunday, April 27, 2008

schvarts vs. yale

For her senior Thesis project Aliza Shvartz claims to have artificially inseminated herself repeatedly and subsequently induced miscarriages for the past nine months. Her project exists as documentation. It exists in the telling and re-telling and, if she were allowed to show her work in Yale's undergraduate show, it was proposed to be a large cube of blood (matter from her miscarriages) wrapped in plastic.
Shvartz has reportedly been banned from her thesis show as she refused to admit that her project was a "work of fiction", that she in fact had never inseminated herself or induced miscarriages and that no human blood would be exhibited in her work.
Yale conducted a scientific test and found no traces of human blood in her project. After a week, Shvartz is still silent on the subject.

I am not so concerned with whether Shvartz actually inseminated and induced. (Although I think it's stupid, and unhealthy, physically, mentallly, hormonally, etc. to do so) I am mostly interested in the play between the artist and the institution that is highlighted in this controversy. Shvartz, at one point must have had to submit a proposal for her senior thesis. I am curious as to the nature of the proposal. If it were an accurate description of what she claims to have been doing with herself for the past nine months, why did Yale let her proceed? If her work is about creating and sustaining a myth (which i think it is) than admitting that she never did any of these things would be an end to her myth, furthermore, if Yale knows, through scientific testing that there is no human blood in her project than why do they not allow her to remain silent on the subject and present her work?

Joesph Beuys. An artist whose entire career was based off of his own myth; his plane crashes, inidigenous people save him by wrapping him in felt and fat and feeding him yogurt and for the next 30 years he makes work with felt, fat, sausages etc.

I am not in defense of Shvarts' project, but I do defend her right as an artist not to change her work at the demand of an institution.

I like what this person has to say

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