Marni Kotak | Birth of Baby X

Pregnant Artist to Give Birth in Gallery…Art or Asinine?

October 13, 2011


Farah Silver, Good Question, hot topic

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Marni Kotak Birth of Baby X
What is it with pregnant women these days? Earlier this week it was a pregnant woman who ran a marathon and then gave birth hours later. Today it’s a pregnant woman who plans on giving birth to her first child at an art gallery. Yes, an art gallery. A public art gallery. Seriously.

Artist Marni Kotak is turning the birthing process into performance art with ‘The Birth of Baby X,’ and she has set up shop at a Brooklyn gallery, transforming it into a birthing room, patiently waiting for the big day to arrive—which should be any day now. By her side will be her husband, midwife and doula, and in front of them…a live audience to experience the miracle of life up close and personal.

Would I want to be part of the audience? No thank you. There are enough reality shows on TV to last a lifetime. Would I ever consider a giving birth in public? Hell to the no! Yes, giving birth is beautiful, special, a miracle, and you can even call it art, but I’m not calling myself and artist nor am I going to pop one out in public for art’s sake. Actually, both my kids were C-sections so I wonder how that would pan out in the art world.

Kotak explains to the press 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.”  Heck if she was a true artist, she really missed the mark. She should have started the “installation” nine months ago when Baby X was conceived.

What do you think? Is this art or asinine? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Hannah
    October 14, 2011

  • Ok, I don’t say this often, but: Bitch be crazy! If something goes wrong, are those “viewers” going to realize it’s not part of the art? Or maybe that IS a part of the art. I agree with her logic “human life is art” and whatever, but there are things that can go wrong. You want to record it happening while you’re at a birthing center, and then show that film during some kind of crazy ass installation? Go nuts. But for her to risk her child’s health and well being like that? I hope that everything goes ok…

  • Carol
    October 17, 2011

  • Some things in life are just personal – not for all the world to be a part of. And how will the child feel when old enough to understand that their birth was shared with the world?

  • Kati
    March 9, 2012

  • It’s definitely not something I would do (my son was born in a pool in my living room, the only ones present were my husband and midwives) but I don’t see anything inherently wrong about it. I am sure that if a true emergency presents itself, they will transfer to a hospital– as is the plan with regular homebirths. Anyone who thinks she would risk detriment to her child more than any other mother has obviously not researched out-of-hospital births. Midwives come prepared for minor emergencies (for instance, they carry oxygen, as well as pitocin in case of excessive bleeding) as well as variations in normal births such as breech babies or nuchal cords (cord around the neck). While this is not something I would do (and I am an artist as well!) I don’t think she is crazy for doing it. Strange? Sure, we’re all a little strange sometimes, some of us more than others, but not crazy.