Exhibition: February 21–May 9, 2020
Opening: Thursday, February 20 from 6–9 pm
Purported presents the work of New York-based artist and theorist Aliza Shvarts (b. 1986) as part of Art in General’s New Commissions program. Shvarts’ performance, video, installation and text-based practice explores reproductive labor and its biological and societal maintenance through queer and feminist understandings. Read against the current climate of renewed anti-abortion laws and activism against sexual violence, the exhibition brings together over a decade of the artist’s work, as well as newly commissioned work, that complexly questions the interrelated dynamics of gender, sexuality, consent and power as they play out inside contemporary culture. Shvarts famously drew widespread attention as an undergraduate student in 2008 when her Untitled [Senior Thesis], consisting of a yearlong performance of self-induced miscarriages, was declared a fiction by Yale University and banned from public exhibition. This work will be on view for the first time in New York at Art in General and frames the areas of inquiry Shvarts has consistently continued to explore throughout her practice: how the body means and matters and how the subject consents and dissents. One of the most important American feminist artists of her generation, this is her first solo exhibition in New York City.
Aliza Shvarts is an artist and writer who takes a queer and feminist approach to reproductive labor and language. Her recent work focuses on testimony and circulations of speech in the digital age. She received a BA from Yale University and PhD in Performance Studies at New York University. She was a 2014–15 Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program, a 2017 Critical Writing Fellow at Recess Art and is currently a 2019–20 A.I.R. Gallery Artist Fellow and a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at Tate Modern in London; Kevin Kavanagh Gallery in Dublin; Athens Biennale in Greece; LOOP International Film Festival in Barcelona; Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Columbia; Universidad de Chile in Santiago; SculptureCenter, Participant Inc, Abrons Art Center, Lévy Gorvy, and Matthew Gallery in New York; the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia; and Artspace in New Haven, CT. Shvarts’ writing has been published in Whitechapel Documents in Contemporary Art: Practice, The Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, TDR/The Drama Review, Women & Performance, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has taught at Barnard College, New York University, the Parsons School of Design, and the Pratt Institute and has given talks at a number of institutions, including The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The 8th Floor/Rubin Foundation, Harvard University, McGill University, Stanford University, and UCLA. In addition, she wrote liner notes for the drone metal band SunnO))) and appeared as a guest commentator on MTV.
ARTFORUM. Weapon of Choice by Wendy Vogel. March 13, 2020. Read Online
E-FLUX PODCAST. Aliza Shvarts and Emily Apter on Purported. May 5, 2020. Listen Online
ART IN AMERICA. Aliza Shvarts on the Traumatic Experience of Going Viral. April 24, 2020. Read Online
VOX. A Rape Kit Exhibition Reveals Truths About Justice by Lux Alptraum. February 19, 2020. Read Online
Support of Art in General is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Trust for Mutual Understanding; New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation; Greenwich Collection, Ltd.; Cowles Charitable Trust; The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.