Opinion pieces on Shvarts’ senior project 4/23

An Artwork at Yale May Not Be Real, but the Furor Is KAREN W. ARENSON New York Times

“…Arts professors at universities around the country say they are no strangers to controversy. And they say that while freedom of expression is important in the academic world, so is providing guidance and setting limits.”

The rest of these excerpts are taken from the Yale Daily News:

“After buildup, a quiet opening: After Univ. follows through on threat to ban project, senior show debuts without incident” Zachary Abrahamson and Martine Powers

Experts shed doubt on Shvarts’ claims Ambika Bhushan

“’The most likely scenario,’ said Dr. Edward Funai, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of obstetrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital, ‘is that all Shvarts was seeing every month was her own menstrual blood. Half of the Yale community sees art of similar quality when taking care of their monthly hygiene.’”

By banning exhibit, Salovey upholds Eli values Brian C. Thompson

“As a good Eli, Shvarts should comply with the administration’s demands rather than try to be a martyr for art. Salovey’s conditions are not unreasonable; Shvarts’ point could still be made if she admitted the exhibit was fake. If it is real and she has, in fact, been storing blood and tissue for nine months, then it should not be on display — for public health reasons, if nothing else.”

Art lecturer: Yale erred in banning Shvarts’ art Seth Kim-Cohen

“Years ago, when I was a student, my senior art-history seminar studied the work of Chris Burden, who has had himself shot in the arm with a rifle and crucified — bolts driven through his hands — on the back of a Volkswagen Beetle. A student asked the obligatory question: ‘It’s interesting, but is it art?’ The answer given by the professor, Joan Brigham, remains one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned: ‘It might as well be art,’ she said, ‘it’s not anything else.'”

All the world’s a … performance-art show? Michael Zink

“The only meaningful difference between Shvarts’ miscarriages and every other miscarriage is that Shvarts decided that hers was art, while other women apparently lacked the foresight to do so. Thus, we see that any action is art so long as the performer calls it so. In a sense, the act of creating art occurs when artists assign the term ‘art’ to their work. Thanks to Shvarts’ revolutionary work, we can now declare the tedious squabble over what qualifies as art to be definitively resolved.”

After perpetuating ambiguity, News must find truth Eamon Murphy

“It’s the News’ approach to this story — print first, ask millions of questions later — that’s most directly responsible for whatever infamy Yale has incurred as a result of all this….If News editors care about Yale and its reputation, they ought to be more careful, more measured, in breaking stories like this.”

Posted by: Tanya


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