This Just Out: You can’t spell art without L…I…and E

So, it appears that the Yale artist‘s claims were false, reports The New York Times.


I kinda question Shvarts’s motives. She set up a hoax, got national media attention, then retracts her story, and now she’s calling it art. That kind of ex post facto excuse didn’t work for Winona Ryder when, after getting arrested for shop-lifting she was like, Wait, no, I’m doing “research” for a part. I think artists should be careful how far they push the “art vs. reality” thing. Y’all know we had words for Ann Liv Young when she toted her four day-old daughter on stage a while back. We still maintain: Art is an agreement of regard. Schvar can no more claim that my reaction to her lie is “her art” than I can claim that a the tears of someone I hit are my art (btw: I don’t hit people, as a rule). Art is a context of consent. And, as it concerns Schvar’s “art,” I’m taking mine back.

It’s kind of disappointing, because I was going to write that what Shvarts had done (you know, the getting pregnant and forcing miscarriage thing) really exists outside of the political debate over abortion, because none of the reasons we argue either for or against abortion are meant to address a rogue action like this. And it’s not like what Shvarts had said she had done would suddenly have inspire an epidemic wave of self-inducing abortionists. Yes, the hoax did generate conversation, but now any good that might have come from that conversation is now irreparably compromised by the fact that she was making it all up. Kind of makes J.T. Leroy seem suddenly less smarmy. Although those fuckers used child abuse as a vehicle to gain fame in the literary world. I dunno. Maybe they’re not so different after all.

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