Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Yale’s con artist

There is a media frenzy going on over Yale art student, Aliza Shvarts.  In today’s Yale Daily News, Aliza “confesses” to doing the following in the name of art-

For the past year, I performed repeated self-induced miscarriages. I created a group of fabricators from volunteers who submitted to periodic STD screenings and agreed to their complete and permanent anonymity. From the 9th to the 15th day of my menstrual cycle, the fabricators would provide me with sperm samples, which I used to privately self-inseminate. Using a needleless syringe, I would inject the sperm near my cervix within 30 minutes of its collection, so as to insure the possibility of fertilization. On the 28th day of my cycle, I would ingest an abortifacient, after which I would experience cramps and heavy bleeding.

To protect myself and others, only I know the number of fabricators who participated, the frequency and accuracy with which I inseminated and the specific abortifacient I used. Because of these measures of privacy, the piece exists only in its telling. This telling can take textual, visual, spatial, temporal and performative forms . copies of copies of which there is no original.

And what will Ms. Shuarts do with the result of her art project? Of course, given that she is an artist, she will put it on display at Yale next Tuesday. Her display will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.  And according to the Yale Daily News, her reason for having the display is to ..”spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body.”

But as of yesterday Yale formally announced that the artist did not do any blood work or injecting of semen, such was a fabrication which was all part of her performance.  But now the artists denies the denial of Yale.  And Yale then denies the denial of the art student.

All this denial of denials reminds me of schizophrenic inducing communications which occur to deny any validation of any reality at any time.

The denial of denials and using fabricators to promulgate fabrications have been the product of artists for many a year. These artists are most frequently referred to as con artists.  And what may be the purpose of her con?  In the dankprofessor’s opinion, such is to con the media and Yale so she can get an Andy Warhol 15 minutes or more of fame for herself and for herself over and over again. 

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Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008







April 18, 2008 Posted by | art, con artists, ethics, higher education, sex, Yale University | Leave a comment


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