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Childbirth as Art? Brooklyn Woman to Give Birth in Front of an Audience

Childbirth

Most artists are more comfortable depicting childbirth on a canvas instead of in front of a live audience

And here I thought it was a bit strange to have a bunch of people I didn’t know witness the birth of both of my daughters. Of course both girls were born in an operating room via C-section, so each person present had a distinct purpose — you know, because they were doctors, nurses, pediatricians and anesthesiologists, for example.

A woman in Brooklyn thinks everyone in the room when she gives birth will have a reason to be there, too. Except in her case the strangers in the room will be paying to attend, and instead of a hospital, her baby will enter the world in an art gallery.

The woman is a performance artist, according to the New York Post. And she’s calling the, uh, piece, “The Birth of Baby X.” She’s imagining the gallery as a birthing room, and that’s where you can find her every single day up until and including the day she gives birth — and her due date is still five weeks away (although as many moms know, at a certain point in the pregnancy, labor can start at any moment).

Marni Kotak is the expectant mom, er, artist, and she believes that “real life is the best performance art,” according to the New York Post.

“I hope that people will see 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,” she said.

She said she’s no more worried about giving birth in an art gallery in front of strangers than if she were having the baby at home or in the hospital. She’s also no stranger to shocking art, having previously staged re-enactments of her grandfather’s funeral and losing her virginity (although presumably not at the same time).

I’m sure many women think of childbirth as an art form. I’m sure many artists have depicted childbirth in one way or another through paints, charcoals, sculptures. Childbirth has been reenacted in countless movies, TV shows and plays. I have no doubt many women think of themselves as artists, too, as they create and welcome a life. There’s no doubt that the birth of a baby is a beautiful thing.

But then there are also people who live live tweet the births of their babies. There are women who post status updates on Facebook while they’re in labor. To each her own, but there are some details that I’d like to keep private (and this is coming from someone who writes about her kids, like, a lot). There is such thing as too much information.

Charging admission to the birth of your baby? That’s the first time I’ve heard of i. And while I think life (and birth) is a miracle, the last place you’ll find me is in the gallery before and/or when this woman gives birth. I think charging admission to the birth of your baby crosses, nay, leaps across the line into exploitation.

The, uh, exhibit opens today.

Would you pay to witness a birth in person?

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