Marni Kotak
July 18 – August 25
Opening Friday July 18, 6-9pm

Marni Kotak, “Surviving 6 Karpas (Beth Israel Psych Ward)”, 2014, photographic plaque, 40 x 24 inches (detail)
© courtesy of the artist and Microscope Gallery

Microscope Gallery is very pleased to present Marni Kotak: Mad Meds, the 3rd solo exhibition at the gallery by the artist. The 6-week durational performance exhibition and installation finds Kotak addressing her personal struggles with her own mind, the US medical system, and the pharmaceutical industry as she attempts to withdraw from psychiatric medicines prescribed as follow-up treatment for post-partum depression more than two and a half years ago.

Mad Meds incorporates new works in photography, video, and sculpture situated within an ideal environment – such as a gold-leafed bed, fluffy photo pillows, blankets and rugs, exercise and meditation equipment – created by Kotak to facilitate her attempt to gradually reduce her medical dosage to zero. With Mad Meds Kotak suggests an alternative approach to dealing with “madness”, one in contrast to her own traumatic experience as a inpatient of a hospital psych ward, and reflects on the possibility of a med-free existence.

Centerpieces are two evolving and opposing sculptural works “All The Meds I Didn’t Take”, a Fabergé egg housing the Klonopin, Wellbutrin and Abilify she discards during the withdrawal and “All the Meds I Took”, an ornate gold medicine cabinet filled with the empty containers of the medicines Kotak still consumes during the weaning process.

The exhibition also includes the new video works: “Dis(abilify)”, made from  appropriated YouTube advertisements for Abilify, the atypical antipsychotic and the nation’s number one overall selling pharmaceutical drug, and the multi-channel “Mad Ms. Video Project”, featuring stories, solicited and collected by Kotak, of women in the US who have had experiences diagnosed as mental illness.

Additionally, as in previous exhibits, the artist recognizes her everyday accomplishments through several “awards” including photographic plaques and a 10-foot trophy with a custom bust of the artist made with a 3D printer, ready to be received upon completion of her quest to become med-free. Kotak will also hold special “visiting hours” –  to be announced on our website during the show – and invites the public to engage in her process as well as join her in various activities such as workout sessions.  


Abilify Wean

Marni Kotak, “Abilify Wean”, 2014, aluminum photo emulsion plaque, 18 x 24 inches
© courtesy of the artist and Microscope Gallery

Marni Kotak is a performance artist who makes multimedia works in which she presents everyday life being lived. In October 2011, she gave birth to her son as a live performance in her durational exhibition, The Birth of Baby X, at Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Kotak’s works are currently on view at the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art (Chile) and have previously exhibited at Artists Space, Exit Art, Momenta Art, English Kills Gallery, Grace Exhibition Space, among others. She has performed extensively in the US and abroad. Kotak has been featured in The New York TimesBlouin ArtInfoThe Brooklyn RailThe Village VoiceHyperallergicArtFCityWashington PostLos Angeles TimesGood Morning America (ABC)TIMEPAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and the Times of London among many others. She received a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Brooklyn College. Grants include Franklin Furnace Fund Award (2012-13) and the Brooklyn Arts Council among others.

For additional information please contact the gallery at or 347.925.1433.
Press Preview Hours: Friday July 18, 5-6pm.

Bust detail
Marni Kotak, “Med-free and Happy”, 2014, wood, acrylic and aluminum, 8 ft. x 16 in. x 12 inches
© courtesy of the artist and Microscope Gallery

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