Performance artist to give birth in public

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Wednesday 12 October 2011.

Performance artist to give birth in public image

United States, New York. Brooklyn artist Marni Kotak will give birth during a live performance installation at Bushwick’s Microscope Gallery. Her exhibition “The Birth of Baby X” will be the first in which an artist has used live child-birth as an artistic medium.

Kotak hopes that the project will allow people to see “that human life itself is the most profound work of art, and that therefore giving birth, the greatest expression of life, is the highest form of art”, although she admits that she is “a bit nervous about the whole process of giving birth and having a child, and like every mother, I am hoping that everything goes smoothly.”

Following the live birth performance, Kotak will begin a follow-on performance called “Raising Baby X” in which she “re-contextualizes the everyday act of raising a child into a work of performance art. The long-term project will ultimately encompass the overall span of the child’s life from birth through attending college and developing an independent life,” says Kotak.

“I believe that our most intriguing performances occur when we are not aware that we are performing. It is only in these moments that we are capable of transcending the issues of spectacle that have come to dominate performance art and much of contemporary culture.”

Kotak has a history of situating dramatic, real-life experiences within the context of art. In a prior performance she attended her grandfather’s funeral, and in another, she lost her virginity in a blue Plymouth.

The project raises ethical questions about the role of children in art. However, it also offers viewers a chance to experience first-hand some of life’s most significant moments – events which the audience might otherwise not have the chance to experience on their own.