But is it art? Brooklyn artist plans to give birth in gallery

Artist Marni Kotak at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn

A Brooklyn performance artist had an opening in a local gallery this weekend for her next big piece: a live birth.

Marni Kotak, who is 36 and eight months pregnant, is planning to go through the birth of her first child in front of an audience in an art gallery in the Bushwick neighborhood. The gallery has installed a shower and a refrigerator and already has about 15 people signed up to watch.

In preparation for this weekend's “opening” at the Microscope Gallery, Kotak also brought along her grandmother’s bed, a rocking chair and her own paintings that are related to her pregnancy, including a framed sonogram.

On Monday, she met with her midwife and doula in the space where she expects to give birth any minute, though on the gallery website the “Birth of Baby X” installation is officially supposed to run “October 8-November 7.”

This is not Kotak’s first, uh, unconventional work. She also staged reenactments of losing her virginity and attending her grandfather’s funeral, according to the website.

“I wouldn’t say I’m scared to do this because I have a good support team: my midwife, my doula and a wonderful husband,” she told the New York Post. “Of course, I am 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.”

People who have expressed safety concerns should realize that the gallery is taking precautions, Elle Burchill, a gallery worker, told The Times on Monday.

“We have everything here that you would have in a home birth," she said, quickly noting that a hospital is less than a mile from the gallery.

And after Baby X is born?

Kotak will move onto another performance titled "Raising Baby X" in which she "re-contextualizes the everyday act of raising a child into a work of performance art..."

All we can say is: good luck with the teenage years.

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Photo: Artist Marni Kotak at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn. Credit: EPA/Manuela Imre.

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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