Saturday October 25, 2-5pm
CoolCar Cut: Ajax’s Third Birthday Party          
performance by Marni Kotak w/ Ajax Kotak Bell, Jason Robert Bell
free admission – audience is invited to join in


© 2014 Marni Kotak

Marni Kotak joins us for the first time at our new location – and taking place in our garage entrance – CoolCar Cut: Ajax’s Third Birthday Party. With CoolCar Cut Kotak, joined by her son Ajax Kotak Bell and artist/husband Jason Robert Bell, continues her practice of presenting real life events – this time her child’s third birthday and party – as performance art in which the public is invited not only as audience but also as participants.
For CoolCar Cut, Kotak reinterprets and reconstructs the garage as ceremonial stage drawing from cultural traditions, such as the Upsherin, first haircut, in the Jewish tradition, and Las Presentaciones, presentation of the child to God, in Latin America, recognizing the third birthday as the transition from baby to boyhood before members of the community.  
During the ceremony, Ajax – seated in a golden, kiddie barber chair in the shape of his current favorite thing: a “coolcar”  –  will receive his actual first haircut by his parents. A presentation of special gifts, a sing-a-long led by the Beatles cover band The Nerk Twins and a procession around the block with a convertible, go-karts, a toy racecar track and a gold cake in the shape of a car, of course, are also involved. And videos from Raising Baby X: Little Brother – Year 3, a project in which she outfits her son with a small wearable video camera capturing his life from his own point of view will be on view.
CoolCar Cut: Ajax’s Third Birthday Party is the third birthday party performance event in connection with Kotak’s Raising Baby X project, recontextualizing motherhood as performance art. The project was launched on October 25, 2011 by Kotak following the birth of her son as a live performance at Microscope Gallery.

Marni Kotak is a performance artist who makes multimedia works in which she presents an everyday life being lived. In July 2014, Kotak presented Mad Meds, an exhibition and durational performance at Microscope Gallery where she gradually withdrew from psychiatric medications prescribed two years earlier for postpartum depression. In October 2011, she gave birth to her son as a live performance in her month-long exhibition, The Birth of Baby X, at Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Kotakʼs other recent Found Performances, or works based on daily activities, experiences, or accomplishments, include Calorie Countdown (2013), Raising Baby X (ongoing), Postpartum Depression (2012), and staged re- enactments of her own birth, attending her grandfatherʼs funeral and losing her virginity in a blue Plymouth. Her work has been featured in national and international media such as The New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post, Good Morning America, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, The Village Voice, Hyperallergic, VICE, The Daily Beast, and many others. She is the winner of a 2012-2013 Franklin Furnace Fund award, a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council, and a merit award for residency at the Contemporary Artists Center in Troy, NY. She received a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Brooklyn College.

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