GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE, BROOKLYN
Happy 4th Birthday Ajax: Baby X’s Silly Spooky House of Mirrors
Four years after the live gallery birth of her son Ajax (Baby X), Marni Kotak welcomes the public to the annual birthday celebration and performance, this year held on Halloween, October 31.
For the event, Brooklyn performance venue Grace Exhibition Space will be transformed into Baby X's Silly Spooky House of Mirrors, and audience members of all ages are invited to attend, preferably in costume. The installation for the party created by Kotak in collaboration with Ajax and father Jason Robert Bell, is an elaborate maze-like construction of mylar, cobwebs, ghouls, jack-o-lanterns, and other spooky details, tricked out with haunted sounds, a fog machine and strobe lights. The festivity will also feature a magician, a giant piles of fall leaves to play in, and traditional Halloween treats such as cupcakes, candy corns and candied apples.
The event also features the debut of the latest video from Kotak's on-going Raising Baby X: Little Brother, a project in which the artist outfits Ajax with a small wearable video camera through which the child is capturing his infancy and early childhood from his own point of view.
In her work, Kotak has repeatedly stated that real life is the most significant work of art, considering the rituals, experiences and accomplishments of the everyday as personal milestones to be publicly shared and exhibited. The Halloween costume birthday party provides an experience where reality intersects with the realm of fantasy, and truth and illusion are intertwined. Kotak further blurs the lines between the real and unreal in construing a house of mirrors, where audience members are simultaneously themselves and are seen in a never-ending reflection of themselves, for a moment really living a dream within a dream within a dream.
Marni Kotak is a performance artist who makes multimedia works in which she presents her everyday life being lived. Recent solo exhibitions include her 2014 “Mad Meds” at Microscope Gallery where she gradually withdrew from psychiatric medications prescribed two years earlier for postpartum depression and her 2011 “The Birth of Baby X” in which she gave birth to her son as a live performance at the gallery during a month-long exhibition.
Kotak’s other "Found Performances", or works based on daily activities, experiences, or accomplishments, include “Self-Medication” (2014), "Calorie Countdown" (2013), "Raising Baby X" (ongoing), "Postpartum Depression" (2012), and staged re-enactments of her own birth, attending her grandfather’s funeral and losing her virginity in a blue Plymouth. Kotak's work has also exhibited at Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art, Exit Art, Momenta Art, Performa, and extensively in the US and abroad. Kotak was a recipient of a Franklin Furnace Grant (2012-2013) and has received grants from NYSCA/BAC. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Artinfo, Art Pulse, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, among many others. Public collections include the Library of Congress, Washington DC and Rhizome, NY.
Kotak received a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Brooklyn College. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is represented by Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.