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Self Induced Abortion; A New Art Form?

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Self Induced Abortion; A New Art Form?By: Nicholas StojakovichNot 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 wanted 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.” Her  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. Here let me show you how it’s 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 complete and total isolated individualism.  What is most troublesome is that Yale University totally supported this project until it provoked an outrage.  As a democratic society we should be supportive of artistic freedom and expression even when art is used as a form of political propaganda that many might disagree with. However to purposely blur the lines and depict yourself self impregnating and self aborting clearly crossed an ethical line and the University had a duty to communicate some reasonable guidelines.  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.Unfortunately this pervasive climate of moral, cultural and intellectual relativism that began as a mere fashionable plaything for the “intellectual elite” has been successfully communicated to those like Ms. Shvarts who are un able to resist its devastating practical effects. © Nicholas J. Stojakovich  2008/Raging Grace Publishing    

 

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