Posts Tagged ‘taboo’


I’ve decided to start an on going addition to my art blog with a segment entitled: ART? As we all know there are moments when we’re journeying through exhibitions, books/articles, or news that spark the question: is this really art? Obviously, art is very subjective when it comes to topic, technique or overall beauty/talent/originality, but when does art cross the line into ridiculous and over the top? I guess that is subjective too.

Looking back into my youth I remember certain art that made it in the headlines: Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary“, Daniel Edwards multiple celebrity sculptures (which continue to), the Barack Obama “Hope” poster by Shepard Fairey to name a few. All controversial for different reasons, but when do we suddenly go from hot topic to ridiculous excuse for “Art”? Those are the pieces/performances that make the art world such a joke to some people. People see/read about these things and their opinion that art enthusiasts or artist themselves are egocentric, arrogant jokes that do anything and call it art seem to be validated. Some are much easier to defend than others.

Today’s example is NYC performance artist Marni Kotak whose on-going and soon to reach climax performance piece at The Microscope Gallery. Entitled: The Birth of Baby X, Marni plans on giving birth to her first child in her exhibition space within the gallery that has been turned into a bedroom equipped with birthing pool, numerous photos from her three baby showers, as well as paintings from her painter husband… Personally, I’m not very supportive of this performance piece. I am definitely asking myself: Is this Art? Performance Art for me is a delicate balance of originality, importance in purpose/idea, and beauty in its execution. For me this piece is not on the same level as some of Chris Burden’s work (in shock value or subject matter), and not as brilliant, startling and insightfully disturbing a look into the human psyche as Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm 0.

Some people are calling it: “daring, challenging, and honest” orĀ  “interesting, crazy, and intriguing”. I suppose all of which are true, but I see it more of a spectacle… especially when I read that she will explain her child’s birth to him/her slowly and organically ultimately culminating with the ending message that they were “born in an art gallery because, as artists, that is our sacred space, and in doing this we are telling the world and our child that his or her life is a precious work of art.” Frankly, I don’t think we need to give birth to our children in galleries to prove that, and I also don’t think child birth is such a taboo and mystery (just ask the numerous TV shows outlining the entire endeavor and it’s twists, turns, taboos, and stupidities), but I suppose she is the first to do it in a public space (intentionally) for all to see… I don’t know, you decide.



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