Tuesday October 25, 4-6pm
My Halloween Birthday Party: Ajax Turns 5
at 4 Charles Place, Brooklyn, NY (Microscope’s former location)


Still from “Raising Baby X: Little Brother – Year 5” (Marni Kotak, 2015-2016, 45 mins) – Courtesy of the artist

Microscope joins Marni Kotak in inviting the public to the artist’s 5th annual performance birthday party in connection with her ongoing “Raising Baby X” project. As the artist’s son Ajax turns five, Kotak returns to the gallery’s original location where she gave birth to her son as a live performance on October 25, 2011.

The birthday party theme My Halloween Birthday Party was chosen for the first time by the now kindergartener, who also helped out with various elements of the installation within which the party takes place: a haunted forest of creepy cardboard trees, light up ghosts, tiny bats, and spider webs. Party activities will feature Halloween games, drawing on jack-o-lanterns, pizza and cupcakes and a pumpkin piñata. Audience members are encouraged to wear costumes.

Past years themes include “First Birthday”, incorporating a marching band and a giant pop out cake; “Year 2: Ajax’s Singing in the Rain”, complete with umbrellas and an artificial downpour;  “Year 3: Ajax’s Kool Car”,  first haircut in a sports car barber’s chair to the accompaniment of a Beatles’ cover band; and “Year 4: Scary Fun House”, a mad maze of fun mirrors and a magician with crazy tricks.

The birthday party is a celebration of the date of one’s birth, and essentially one’s life. — Marni Kotak

With  “Raising Baby X”  the artist positions the act of motherhood within the context of her wider body of work considering everyday life as art and its rituals, accomplishments and achievements as personal triumphs to be shared and celebrated publicly in the presence of others. In addition to the annual birthday party performances, “Raising Baby X” to date has manifest itself most visibly in Kotak’s video project “Little Brother”,  in which she outfits the child with a video camera.

Please note: the event is taking offsite at Microscope’s former location, 4 Charles Place, Brooklyn, NY 11221

Additional info or high res images by request at info@microscopegallery.com

Marni Kotak is a performance artist who makes multimedia works in which she presents her everyday life being lived. 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 works have been reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times, Blouin Artinfo, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic and others. They have also entered a broader discourse in publications including Time, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, Vice, The Huffington Post, Salon, and numerous others.  She has also exhibited at Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art, Exit Art, Momenta Art, Performa, English Kills Gallery, Grace Exhibition Space and has performed extensively in the US and abroad. Kotak was a recipient of a Franklin Furnace Grant (2012-2013) and has received grants from NYSCA/BAC. Public collections include the Library of Congress, Washington DC and Rhizome, NY. Kodak received a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Brooklyn College. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Tarot Society gallery and reading room (Microscope’s former location)
4 Charles Place (at Myrtle Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11221

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