Yale University officials banned Aliza Shvart’s “abortion art” piece from the opening of the school’s exhibit after pushing the student to admit that she lied about how she created the art project Friday.
Shvart maintains that she artificially impregnated herself using sperm donors, whose identities remain unknown, and then induced miscarriages with herbal pills. Unsure if she was, in fact, pregnant, the senior collected blood monthly around the time of her period and spread it across huge sheets of plastic wrapped around a cube. The senior planned to play videos of her miscarriages on the cube’s walls during the display.
Yale, however, continues to deny that the senior actually inseminated herself and then purposely had miscarriages to create her artwork. The school claims that Shvart admitted that her story was not true in interviews with administration. The smeared “blood” was actually Vaseline and her project more of a performance piece than visual art, the school says.
According to the New York Times, in response to attention from the media, Yale demanded that Shvart submit a written document stating that she had lied or her work will be pulled from the opening.
“In this case, we will not permit her to install the project unless she submits a clear and unambiguous written statement that her installation is a work of fiction: that she did not try to inseminate herself and induce miscarriages, and that no human blood will be physically displayed in her installation,” Yale Dean Peter Salovey said in a statement Monday.
Despite the threat, Shvart refused to comply with Yale’s wishes. As such, her art was not displayed in the exhibit’s opening. In addition to pulling Shvart’s project from the exhibit, Salovey informed the public that Yale has disciplined two professors involved in the project for their “serious errors in judgment.”
Coordinators of the exhibit still hope Shvart will submit to the Yale’s demands so her work can be displayed before the senior show ends May 1.
Shvart, however, shows no sign of meeting the demands. She has refused to speak with any media except for the Yale Daily News, and she still remains ambiguous about the reality of her senior project.
“No one can say with 100 percent certainty that anything in the piece did or did not happen,” Shvart told the Daily News. “The nature of the piece is that it did not consist of certainties.”