Suddenly, I feel as if the entirety of the over-emphasis on art here on Daddy Types, indeed, the blog's entire existence to this point, has all been in unconscious preparation for this moment, this post.
Beginning this week, Microscope Gallery will host The Birth of Baby X, an "installation | video | durational performance culminating in an actual birth," by Bushwick-based performance artist Marni Kotak. I quote from the gallery's press release because, really, I cannot surpass its clarity and power:
With The Birth of Baby X Kotak continues to present her life experiences as works of art, works in which she strives to avoid the spectacle often involved in performance art to reach what is real. Influenced by the performances of Hannah Wilke, Chris Burden, Vito Acconci, Marina Abramovic, and Carolee Schneemann that test the limits of the human body experience, Kotak seeks to create works of raw immediacy. The Birth of Baby X will be her most profound and physically challenging performance.The exhibition will also--oh, go on, cruel perfection!
Beginning October 8, Kotak will transform Microscope into her home birthing room, complete with her grandmother's bed, and her old rocking chair. The exhibit has been orchestrated around Kotak's official due date. Visitors should be prepared to find themselves suddenly as witnesses to a live birth.
During the month, Kotak will often be present in the gallery preparing mentally and physically for the event, which will be assisted by a mid-wife and doula. The exhibit also includes videos of related performances--including "You are My Baby", performed at Lumen Festival this summer, in which Kotak videotaped the audience and projected their faces onto her belly; sculptures and other objects; and personal artworks by Kotak's husband and artist Jason Robert Bell. Remnants from the final days of pregnancy and the birth will be added to the exhibition as it progresses.Whew, glad she snuck a group show shoutout to the baby daddyin there at the end.
Please Note: for the exhibit, Microscope will extend our regular hours to 7 days a week from 11am-6pm until the birth has occurred
The only way this could be better is if there is a live Baby X-cam, so folks can follow along at home. And to avoid the kind of standing-room-only madhouse that marked the end of Marina Abramovic's The Artist Is Present at MoMA last year. Just sayin'.
Marni Kotak | The Birth of Baby X, Oct. 8 - Nov. 7, 2011 [microscopegallery.com via rhizome]
Marni Kotak artist site [marnikotak]
Jason Robert Bell's Tetragrammatron blog [jasonrobertbell]