10/07/2011 03:21 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2011

Realer Than Life: Birth As Performance Art

Bushwick's Microscope Gallery will bring an extraordinary real life performance piece opening this Saturday October 8, 2011. Bushwick-based artist Marni Kotak will give birth to her first child in the gallery. As I had about 500 questions about the concept, and about technical execution of the piece, I stopped by at Microscope to chat with Marni.
Microscope is a small but bold gallery located just behind the popular café Little Skips. When I arrived Marni and her husband Jason were just setting up the gallery space in order to make it suitable for Marni to give birth. "Is it going to be a boy or a girl?" I ask the first question that came to my mind, although I wasn't planning it. Marni says they didn't want to know, so for the moment it is just Baby X. "We will name it once it's born. " says Marni.
The gallery looks nothing like I am used to. It looks like a perfect homebirth room. Marni points out to me three important objects: her deceased grandmother's bed, the rocking chair, her mother rocked her on when she was a baby, and an inflatable birthing pool.
"Will you give birth in the pool?"
"Maybe, I will see." says Marni.