A “Performance” Life

I read with interest the article about the pregnant “performance artist” who gave birth inside a Brooklyn art gallery.  She contended that the delivery of a child is the “highest form of art” and that the experience would help to address social taboos about the human body.

The “artist” specializes in performances about everyday existence that involve reenacting scenes from her own life, including her birth, when she lost her virginity, and her grandfather’s funeral.  She and her artist husband had set up a “home birth center” space at the gallery, where her exhibition was called “The Birth of Baby X.”  Since the exhibition started, the artist has stayed at the gallery and talked to visitors about motherhood and other issues.  She promised to let interested visitors know when she went into labor, so they could come to the gallery and be inspired by the piece de resistance (or indulge their sick voyeuristic tendencies, depending on your point of view — sometimes those terrible social taboos exist for good reason).

We can only hope that the “artist” and her lucky child now get to live a “performance life” during his first few years on earth.  If having a baby is the “highest form of art,” “performances” that feature the parents waking up at 3 a.m. to feed a screaming infant, changing a runny diaper, and trying to end a two-year-old’s temper tantrum also would make a much-needed statement in the everyday life/social taboo category.

Hey, maybe they can name the baby “Art”!

1 thought on “A “Performance” Life

  1. Oh dear. Some things are just too personal for display here in my uptight, inhibited, little world. There are experiences that are not meant to be shared with the masses; milestones that shape us as individuals, couples, and families.


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