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Extremely Disturbing

Back when I worked for the NEH, we used to joke about some of the art funded by our sister organization, the NEA. When I was joking about it, it was more in the sense of the absurdity of what was given money or what was considered art. I don’t think I had ever thought about how someone’s art could potentially be hurtful–emotionally–to another person. Cathartic, yes. Difficult in the sense that it dredged up huge emotions, yes. But making them profoundly uncomfortable without anything gained from the experience–no, I had never considered that when I was mocking some of the art project funding. And I’m sure some of those projects did.

Please do not click on this link and read this article if you are not in a good emotional space right now. When I tell you that I found it disturbing, I am telling you that my stomach hurts and I feel profoundly uncomfortable in my own skin. That I feel somewhat irresponsible sharing it because I know how much it upset me. And I can’t even put why into words right now. I plan on writing about this later when I can collect my thoughts and not respond while crying.

Yale article about abortion art

This isn’t about being pro-Choice or pro-Life. This is simply about turning what is still the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced and pretending that it’s art.


1 nancy { 04.17.08 at 1:39 pm }

See! My point exactly. (see my comment in the last post.)


2 j { 04.17.08 at 1:44 pm }

Gah. As an artist and a art historian there’s so much I can say but toady? Just for today all I want to say is “fuck her.”

3 Susan { 04.17.08 at 1:48 pm }

I can’t see doing this for art. My miscarriage was one of the most painful experiences in my life, physically, mentally and emotionally. To do this on purpose is beyond my grasp of understanding. We are trying so hard to have a baby and this young woman is getting pregnant relatively easily and then ending the pregnancy. I think someone should have a talk with her because she’s lacking something in the firm grasp on reality. If I were the senior art adviser I would have said no to this project.
P.S. I wonder how she would feel years down the road when because of all her “miscarriages” she either can’t get pregnant or stay pregnant?

4 Erin { 04.17.08 at 1:54 pm }

I have to seriously wonder about her mental state. I mean, very seriously wonder about it. I can’t see how someone without serious psychological issues could do something like that and claim that it didn’t bother or affect them.

I am horrified by the “art”, by the health risks, and that it was approved as a project. Someone should be fired for allowing and encouraging a student to put her health in such risk. Perhaps several someones.

5 AnotherDreamer { 04.17.08 at 2:00 pm }

I am a lover of art… and this to me is not art. This is disgusting. It reminds me of the sick men who video taped themselves gutting a cat that was still alive, and then showing it at the Indie Film fest in Canada… claiming it too was art. I love art, and that’s why I can safely say that this is not art. Art, like life, should adhere to the code: Harm None. What’s wrong with people?

And another thing… had this woman been checked for a mental illness? Because something is off in her mind.

6 AnotherDreamer { 04.17.08 at 2:02 pm }

I wanted to add one more thing… what doctor allowed her to do this… continuously? The prescribing doctor shouldn’t still have their license. Allowing her to do multiple abortions like that was bad for her health… and those poor babies…
those poor poor babies.

7 DD { 04.17.08 at 2:02 pm }

It’s easy to see she’s all about the shock value. She doesn’t confirm whether there were any pregnancies, just that she inseminated and then took the drugs. As for the video images she supposedly had?

I can only take a small amount of comfort from thinking that in all that time, she never did get pregnant once.

8 merseydotes { 04.17.08 at 2:03 pm }

That’s the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen. So arrogant and cavalier…of course it comes from an ivy league college student.

9 katd { 04.17.08 at 2:10 pm }

I can’t stomach this at all. There are limits not just to what is in good taste, but what is within the realm of human dignity and good conscience. Horrible.

10 MrsSpock { 04.17.08 at 2:40 pm }

This is vile.

11 Manda { 04.17.08 at 2:43 pm }

I can’t even find words to express my disgust, my horror, my crushing sadness… I have never suffered a loss, so I can’t even imagine the added tragedy that this piece has for someone who has lost a child. And you’re right, Mel. It’s not about pro-choice or pro-life – it’s about what’s RIGHT. This woman is seriously fucked in the head and she should probably be thrown into an institution for the rest of her miserable life. And yes, that is as kindly as I could possibly put it.

12 tubelessstl { 04.17.08 at 2:47 pm }

She is a murderer. Period! (sure, I know abortion is legal in the USA) She is not having miscarriages, she is inducing an ABORTION each time. Also, I want to know if she really was pregnant each time, if she was, karma will bite her in the ass one day. Those babies suffered death at her hands knowing they never ever had a chance to live. I wonder if she will cause herself to become infertile because of her insisting on inducing so many abortions. ( I say that never ever wishing infertility on ANYONE!)

Art? My God, what has this world come to?

13 Mel { 04.17.08 at 3:01 pm }

This is fucking disgusting.
I couldn’t be more revolted towards another human being as I am feeling toward that woman in this moment.

14 Jen { 04.17.08 at 3:13 pm }

That is awful. I can’t believe it. Just so awful. That isn’t art. I cannot believe the school allowed that to become public (or happen at all).

15 Tash { 04.17.08 at 3:16 pm }

I heard about this on Wonkette, thank goodness because I think that’s about the only way I could’ve initially wrapped my head around this news. I don’t know about you, but when I was young I thought I had my life ahead of me, and I could impact the world, and thing usually turned out fine. I think this woman is hopeless naive in her ability to realize what impact her art has not only on her own body, but on others who have undergone this process either by choice OR involuntarily. Like someone says in the article, she really does disservice to the entire debate.

16 beagle { 04.17.08 at 3:17 pm }

they seem to have taken the site down?

17 JuliaS { 04.17.08 at 3:20 pm }

Well, if I know my Law & Order, I do belief that qualifies as premeditation.

I am thoroughly disgusted – I don’t think I have ever had such a sick, gut feeling like this before in regards to stupid stuff that people do.

She never thought it necessary to consult a doctor during this? So when she started hemorrhaging and her roommate found her in a pool of blood I am sure she would want the videotape rolling then too.

And let’s see if she thinks to document the long term effects of this “art” experience because I am looking at a hysterectomy before the age of 40 due a condition aggravated by my several miscarriages.

Where do you come up with an idea like that?

18 ekunkelmann { 04.17.08 at 3:27 pm }

I know we aren’t supposed to wish infertility on anyone. But I’m making a big exception.

19 Andria and Co. { 04.17.08 at 3:32 pm }

That is disgusting. I am so flippin angry right now… I had three miscarriages, lost the twin alongside my baby, and cannot imagine, cannot FATHOM, turning that into ART. ART? Are you kidding me? That is wrong. Just wrong.

20 Lori { 04.17.08 at 3:37 pm }

It’s been taken down because it’s been reported as a scam:

21 Jess { 04.17.08 at 6:24 pm }

I…I…I’m sot of like…


Getting pregnant so you can have an abortion?

I STILL can’t see her point. What was it supposed to show exactly?

I want to know how she’ll explain this to her kids one day, if she’s lucky enough to be able to have them.

After reading the comments, I thought, too…the advisor NEVER should have allowed it. For health reasons for HER if nothing else.

22 Isn't it pretty to think so { 04.17.08 at 6:56 pm }

This is so fucked up. This is so fucked up. This is so fucked up.

23 Dr. Grumbles { 04.17.08 at 9:30 pm }

This one is popping up all over the place (not just TTC/IF blogs) – that shows how strongly people are reacting to it.

I am pro-choice.

I am an artist’s daughter.

And I am disgusted.

Choice is not meant to give you the right to create life simply to destroy it (with no benefit such as stem cell research).

Art is supposed to improve quality fo life in some way. How is this thought-provoking or cathartic? Disgust-provoking does not equal enlightening.

A uterus is not a canvas or an effing petri dish.

24 loribeth { 04.18.08 at 6:40 am }

I didn’t see the site before it was removed, & judging from the above comments, I don’t think I want to.

I am pro-choice, but this sounds totally sick, & not at all what choice is about.

25 jodie38 { 04.18.08 at 2:54 pm }

Well, I’m awfully glad she’s not just into shock value.

What an idiot.

26 Mrs. B { 04.19.08 at 4:50 pm }

What a fuckin sicko! (sorry I hardly ever curse on here but give me an F’n break). How dare she take something so personal, so profoundly sad and turn it into THIS. I hope she can never have a child. Better yet, I hope she never even gets PG even with all her inseminations so that it never gets published to begin with.

27 Sully { 04.20.08 at 11:58 am }

I don’t know how it took me until today to find this, but I am thoroughly disgusted and troubled by this.

28 Rachel Inbar { 04.20.08 at 1:12 pm }

She is clearly mentally ill. It doesn’t make any sense to me why any university would allow this to happen on their campus.

I hope this is just a hoax.

29 Queenie. . . { 04.21.08 at 6:32 pm }

I consider myself liberal and progressive, and I have to say, I don’t get it. I’m still trying to figure out what is artistic at all about it. If she carved herself up like a Chrismas ham, would that be art? Or would she just be making a desperate cry for some mental health treatment? I think it’s the latter. The fact that Yale is actually showing it is sad.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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