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Child Birth--Art?

April 23, 2013

HERE IS AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/10/marni_kotak_gives_birth.php In October 2011, performance artist Marni Kotak performed a very curious piece of art. Kotak set up a home birth room inside the Microscope Gallery in Brushwick, Pennsylvania--with her grandmother's bed, her mother's chair, and a miniature inflatable pool--for a month-long gallery exhibition in which the birth of her first child was the piece of art. It's title? The Birth of Baby X. Kotak lives very close to the gallery, so even if she wasn't inside of the home birth gallery room when she went into labor, she could get there quickly enough to do her performance. Her goal, Kotak said, was to showcase the beauty of birth. She believed that the topic of childbirth was often avoided in our society because it was seen as awkward and not pretty--but she argued nothing could be more beautiful. Kotak had done life-like performance art pieces before, including a piece representing the loss of her virginity. However, this was the first time she made her actual life the piece of art. Critics of her performance art said she was self-absorbed and took advantage of her baby. Kotak believed her performance was beautiful because it was pure and real (Jennifer Block, The Daily Beast). What do you think? Is giving birth in a gallery art? Is it truly beautiful? Did Kotak go too far?

 

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