This just in: a woman in New York will soon give birth — in a museum. In front of an audience. As a piece of performance art.
No, I am not making this up.
Performance artist Marni Kotak has created an exhibit in which, according to her website, she will present the birth of her first child as a work of art. The exhibit and event will take place in Brooklyn's Microscope Gallery, aptly titled "The Birth of Baby X." Kotak recently opened the exhibit by converting the gallery into a birthing room, bringing in her deceased grandmother's bed and her mom's old rocking chair.
Over the course of the next few weeks, she will be in the gallery preparing mentally and physically to have her child, right up to the moment where she does in fact give birth. Then, she'll have her baby right there in the gallery with the help of her husband, a midwife and a doula. In front of a live audience.
"I know it will be challenging, but I think if people give birth in the completely inhospitable environment of hospitals, hooked up to IVs and monitors and strapped with stirrups into a bed, I can give birth in an art gallery. And in giving birth in front of the audience, I am showing them, as in my previous performances, that real life is the best performance art, and that, if our eyes can be opened to it, all of the meaning that we seek is right there in our everyday lives," said Kotak in an interview with The Village Voice.