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Woman Gives Birth in Brooklyn Art Gallery — in Front of a Paying Audience

Childbirth

Most people have an audience when they give birth, but that audience is made up of doctors and nurses

Hopefully whatever money Marni Kotak made from giving birth in an art gallery in front of an audience will go towards future therapy bills for her son.

Kotak, 36, a performance artist, delivered what she called the highest form of art by welcoming her baby boy in front of a crowd in the aptly named Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn on Tuesday, according to MSNBC. Baby Ajax weighed in at 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and measured 21 inches long.

The gallery hasn’t confirmed how many people were in attendance, but the figure is believed to have been around 15 — family, friends and “a handful of randomly chosen participants.” You know, the same kind of crowd that most women invite to witness the birth of their children (although in the case of most women, the random participants are generally not so random, like doctors, nurses, midwives and/or anesthesiologists, and the women usually pay the crowd, not the other way around).

Kotak called her piece “The Birth of Baby X.” She imagined the gallery as a birthing room, and she spent every day there since early October awaiting the arrival of her baby.

Kotak previously said she was 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).

One person in attendance at yesterday’s birth, er, performance, wrote on bushwickdaily.com that witnessing the experience was “magical.” Apparently just moments after birth the baby boy was “staring blankly into the camera and video lenses that hovered above him.” Sure sounds magical. Or something.

In case you weren’t able to attend the live birth, the gallery said a video of the event will available as part of the exhibition, which runs through November 7. Oh, joy.

Are you bummed you missed out on witnessing the birth in person? Next time, right?

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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