17 April 2008

Aliza Shvarts: Crappy artist, brilliant marketer, or both?

Charlie Stross and Warren Ellis are both defending Aliza Shvarts as an artist, saying she's obviously faking.

...the most inspired publicity-stunt debut in the art world since Damien Hirst unleashed himself with a display of freeze-dried aborted foetuses as earrings in the mid-1980s.
My money says the physical “art” doesn’t exist, not as described. I mean, I’m open to being wrong. But right now, I think the press release itself is the art piece. In fact, I would imagine any final presentation would be a collation of the media responses to the press release, broadcast as it was during a visit from the Pope to her country of residence. She’s going to be hoping someone sticks the PR in front of scary old Ratzinger.

(And if there is a physical piece, I bet you it turns out to be food colouring, latex and bits of chicken. I mean, use your heads.)
Okay, so let's say that's true for a minute. Let's in fact, review the possibilities here:
  • Shvarts is pulling a PR stunt and framing the reactions as art...
  • Shvarts self-aborted several times over a nine month period and will be displaying the results
The latter is several things: physically difficult (it's hard to impregnate *that* easily) and physically taxing; disgusting on many levels, though it is her body to abuse as it pleases her; while not derivative, not wholly original, either. If true, she's a sad excuse for an artist with severe emotional problems.

What of the former? What of the "most inspired publicity-stunt debut" since the 80s? Really? That's art now? First off, it's derivative of several conceptual artists. Secondly? It's derivative of every fucking April Fools website ever created. If all it takes to make it in today's art world is the ability to Punk people, than Aliza Shvarts is a piker compared to Ashton Kutcher.

Personally, I hope Shvarts is a true (if untalented) artist in need of serious psycho-pharmacological help. While I'd be disgusted, I could at least respect that. If instead, her piece is just a massive scam intended to produce vitriolic reactions, she's got a long career ahead of her in PR. Maybe when she graduates, she can get a job as a publicity flack for Tom Cruise.

Oh, who am I kidding. Some jackhole art critics, sorry "art" critics, will proclaim her a genius and she'll have a long and lucrative career.

Update: So it turns out Aliza Shvarts is just a future crappy PR flack.