Many of you have probably already heard about Aliza Shvarts art project:
Shvarts’ senior thesis, “a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself ‘as often as possible’ while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages.” Yup, in an attempt to start a dialogue about art and its relationship to the body, Shvarts is displaying plastic sheeting reportedly smeared with the uterine blood and tissue from her various miscarriages and projecting video of herself miscarrying into a bathtub.
There’s been a lot of anger and hatred directed at Shvarts and to tell you the truth I don’t know exactly how I feel about the project. I am vehemently pro-choice and that means I believe that Shvarts can make her own choices as too what to do with her body and I don’t have the right to tell her “No” or “Don’t”. Does that mean the idea of this doesn’t disturb me? Or that I don’t think her choices are problematic? Not at all, but it’s not on me to control her and what she does with her body I can only control my actions and reactions.
Discounting the fact that the only proof we have of her having the miscarriages is a video, which could be faked or not, and a jar of blood which could simply be menstrual blood (even if she inseminated herself every day there is no guarantee she got pregnant every month or any month). After reading a couple of articles I don’t know if the art had enough thought or focus for me to agree to these acts being art and at the same time who am I to decide what art is. And the idea that Shvarts didn’t know people would be shocked or up in arms over this is disingenuous at best but it’s a complex issue and I think some folks are not looking at it that way. Some are looking at the complexity of the issue and they’re pissed off and that’s their feelings on it, I’m not here to validate or invalidate that.
However, for a counterpoint to the prevailing viewpoint that Shvarts is wrong and the art has no merit I suggest you head over and read Conception and Miscarriage Art over at Badgermama. If nothing else it will make you think on what exactly constitutes an abortion and how much of this is about the language Shvarts chose to use as opposed to her actual acts.
ETA: Turns out it was all a hoax which actually makes me more inclined to consider it performance art.
On a lighter art note an artist has redrawn a lot of the male heroes from Disney films as underwear models. I’ll admit it was a little odd to see Aladdin, Shang, Prince Eric, John Henry et. al. done up like pin-ups in tighty-whiteys but it was also more than a little hilarious and I will say this the art is good. The figures are instantly recognizable and they are drawn really well. Go check it out, wreck your childhood images of Prince Eric (let me add that one of my favorite extras in the art is the mermaid tattoo on Eric’s arm).