Aliza Shvarts, Banners (installation view), 2018, Continuous digital screengrabs printed on 13oz vinyl.


Artist Statement

For the past decade, I have used my art practice to engage the cultural battlegrounds that shape the 21st century: from debates over reproductive rights, the legal system, and consent, to concerns over “fake news” and internet virality. I believe that art can be a means to social justice. It provides techniques for excavating the histories of heteropatriarchy, colonization, and white supremacy that continue to unfold in the present.

My practice attends to expanded notions of reproduction: processes of biological and social maintenance, as well as visual and discursive generation. I am interested in how a body, image, concept, or discourse comes into being—as well as the historical and ideological conditions that discipline them. Using performance, video and installation, I create narrative, material, and spatial interventions that often rely on social interactions, ephemeral gestures, and speech or bodily acts.  I engage not only museums and galleries as places of production and exhibition, but also less-traditional sites such as domestic spaces, academic conferences, and the internet.

Recently, my work has focused on testimony—how the capacity to speak and be heard is gendered, classed, and racialized. Whose words carry weight?  Whose speech precipitates action? Whose bodies bear assurances of trustworthiness, and whose incite doubt? Through this lens, I have been exploring how institutional spaces and objects exert a choreographic force—that is, how they move, align, and configure the body to reproduce certain kinds of meaning or knowledge.