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Oh, baby: Woman to give birth as live performance art

A pregnant woman in New York City is planning on delivering her child inside an art gallery as a piece of performance art.

Marni Kotak, a 36-year-old performance artist, has set up a home-birth centre at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, the Associated Press reports.

The "exhibit," called "The Birth of Baby X," opened on Oct. 8.

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The gallery's walls have been decorated with Kotak's family pictures. A soundtrack of the ocean plays at all times. There is an inflatable birthing pool. Kotak and her husband, a painter, expect she will give birth some time in the next few weeks. In the meantime, about 20 people visit the gallery each day to meet Kotak.

"I'm developing an authentic relationship with these people," Kotak told the AP. "For me, it's like building a community of people who are really interested in this."

One curator called the project "daring, challenging and honest."

A midwife and doula will be there to assist in the birth. There is a hospital nearby in case anything goes wrong during the art, um, birth of the child.

Only about 15 people, all of them selected by Kotak, will be in the gallery to witness the birth. But don't worry, the art will go on. Kotak told the AP that she and her husband plan on continuing to share information about the birth "over time as an organic process."

And what do they plan on telling the young tike about how he or she (they don't know the child's sex yet) entered this world?

"The overall message that we will communicate to the child is that he or she was 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," Kotak said.

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What do you think: Can child birth be considered art? Would you go see the exhibition?

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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