The Art of Murder
By Ben Domenech Posted in Life Issues — Comments (31) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The Yale Daily News reports that art major Aliza Shvarts has an intriguing and controversial new art project. Yawn. When we say "controversial" about art, it always seems to come back to excrement, Jesus, or both. What was hailed as "brave" and "courageous" a few years ago, however, is now so passe. Piss Christ? That's for sellouts.
Thus, young Ms. Shvarts came up with a novel way to create her unique project: she artificially inseminated herself, and destroyed the results.
[Shvarts project is] a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself 'as often as possible' while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood...
What a beautiful and terrible thing Ms. Shvarts has done.
Beautiful from her perspective - the rebelliousness of it all, a multitudinous expression of what goes on every weekend at thousands of college campuses (seek out a donor, destroy the result, move on). The organic symmetry of having such a process play out over the nine month period in which one life has created. People will recoil, and she will - whether she admits it or not - revel in it.
The comments on the Gawker entry are illuminating. People are horrified, but then angry, saying the young woman has given a gift to the pro-life cause. But if a right is limitless - as Barack Obama wishes it to be, and as so many on the extreme pro-choice left do as well - what is wrong about excercising it to the fullest? She is at liberty to do so. How can you be angry at her? What argument can you stand on if, as your own principles maintain, no one has a voice in the matter but the woman herself?
Terrible? Only a beast would say exercising a right, a Constitutional right no less, should be called terrible. How dare you say her actions should be prohibited. Everything Ms. Shvarts has done is perfectly legal. If she wants to make her womb Sheol, it is her right. This is her body. It is her choice. She needs no reason. She is old enough to need no permission. And in the end, all she has done is create art out of her children, as so many parents do. In this, she has excelled. You take yours to Wal Mart for head shots and hang them on walls in cheap frames. She will make hers famous.
Her children, who died alone.
It is a hard thing to be an art critic. It is harder still to be an art critic in an age when art is so poorly defined. When everything is art, nothing is. The best encapsulation of the difficulty, I think, is Daniel Patrick Moynihan's brilliant spoof when asked to dedicate a new piece of "art" which was really just a big prow of a junker put on a pedestal. After giving a purposefully ridiculous speech on the matter, he closed succinctly: "It will be with us a long time."
The young woman says she worries not about her body, or the consequences. She is a dedicated artist. And Aliza Shvarts' works of art will be with her for a long time indeed.
They will be with her forever.