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Performance artist gives birth in 'sacred space,' i.e. gallery

October 27, 2011 |  8:24 am

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As promised, a Brooklyn performance artist gave birth this week in a local art gallery. 

About 20 people were on hand when Marni Kotak, 36, delivered at the Microscope Gallery in Bushwick. Kotak had set up a birthing room in the gallery with her own bed and other belongings in early October and invited people to sign up to be present at the big moment.

"BABY X HAS ARRIVED," the gallery website announced Wednesday. "It’s a healthy baby boy!"

Weighing in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 21 inches long, the baby was born at 10:15 Tuesday morning and named Ajax.

Kotak's husband, Jason Robert Bell, is also an artist.

"The overall message that we will communicate to the child," Kotak told the Associated Press after the birth, "is that he or she was born in an art gallery because, as artists, that is our sacred space, and in doing this we are telling the world and our child that his or her life is a precious work of art."

Kotak has previously re-enacted in public spaces other milestones -- losing her virginity among them --that average people consider private.

The live-birth show continues at the gallery through Nov. 7 and, according to the website, "remnants" from the birth will be added to the exhibition along with a video.

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-- Geraldine Baum in New York

Photo: Brooklyn artist Marni Kotak is shown before giving birth to her first child in front of a public audience at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn. With her is her painter-artist husband, Jason Robert Bell. Credit: Kathy Willens / Associated Press

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