Family

This Artist Is Raising Her Son As An Art Project

It's fair to say that it is pretty normal to take pictures and videos of your children. These days, it's even normal to share them on social media with countless strangers. But where do you draw the line?

Artist Marni Kotak, gave birth to her son back in 2011. As a performance artist, she draws inspiration from her real life. She actually made an art piece out of the birth, videoing the entire event.

Five years later, her son is still the star in her performance art. While her previous project was titled "The Birth of Baby X", the new project is called "Raising Baby X" and has been in the works since his birth, and could continue indefinitely.

"It involves the entire birth to death continuum. If I believe my real life is the ultimate performance, motherhood goes on, indefinitely." - Marni Kotak

Kotak has had mixed reactions to her work in the past, but the current projects main "shock value" is how shock-free it really is.

"I am a performance artist who doesn't perform. But we're always performing. I'm very aware of the nuanced nature of how our lives are a performance." - Marni Kotak

She is not manipulating the portrayal of her life, simply living it while her son occasionally wears a camera. She releases images and short videos, including videos like "Ajax visits the Mall Easter Bunny" and a picture series called "Singing in the Rain: Ajax' Second Birthday Party".  They are simple videos that shows their very normal life, and illustrates very clearly that Marni's attention and care is focused on the well-being of her child. She didn't want it to feel like a mom sharing a lot of pictures online, she wants Ajax to feel like a part of the creation.

"I was really struck by how much oversharing from parents was going on on the internet. I didn't want it to be like that. He would hold the camera, he would be empowered." - Marni Kotak

She also never forces Ajax to wear the camera when he doesn't want to. She explains that he has recently gotten more interested in the process and even started to call himself an artist.

"Ajax is an artist, he considers himself an artist. He tells people he was born in an art gallery." - Marni Kotak

Kotak doesn't know how the project will evolve as her son grows older, but she is hoping to continue the project as long as possible.

What do you think about this? Would you want to have your children participate in your art like this?

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